Bolton Wanderers are into the last 16 of the UEFA Cup after they held Atletico Madrid to a 0-0 draw at the Vicente Calderon in the second leg of their last 32 match. That gave them a 1-0 aggreggate victory over the Spanish giants.
Yet the events of the match are refusing to subside into the past. There was problem between the Bolton supporters and the Spanish police instated inside the Calderon and Bolton have decided to lodge an official complaint with UEFA over the affair.
A statement on the club’s official website reads:
The directors of Bolton Wanderers Football Club are upset and disturbed at the apparent overzealous and disproportionate actions of the Spanish police towards our supporters during Thursday night’s UEFA Cup return leg at Atletico Madrid.
The club’s fans were subjected to a number of assaults and unprovoked baton charges before, during, and after the game, in addition to the aggressive use of police horses to manoeuvre fans towards the Vicente Calderon stadium.
Bolton Wanderers has launched an official protest with UEFA and its security delegates, who witnessed the behaviour of the local police force, and the club is currently in liaison with the Greater Manchester Police and the British Embassy to ascertain further information.
Bolton Wanderers supporters have an impeccable reputation and an excellent record of good behaviour when travelling abroad to European matches, and the club believes the actions of the Madrid police are entirely unacceptable.
Chairman Phil Gartside nods his head in agreement:
I have great sympathy for any of our supporters who have been injured by what is clearly an overreaction by the Spanish police.
Our fans gave us magnificent support on the night and this has taken the shine off what has been a momentous evening in the club’s history.
Bolton Wanderers Football Club will be pursuing the matter at the highest level and seeking an explanation from the Spanish authorities.
We will also be conducting our own internal investigation and information-gathering process.
Last season, there was similar problems when Tottenham Hotspur went to play a UEFA Cup tie against FC Sevilla. The LFP needs to look into this matter but given their history of slackness and leniency in this matter, it doesn’t sound too likely that they will make any great effort this time around.
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