Police Officer Set On Fire After Clashes With Legia Fans At Aston Villa

Last night, Legia football fans lit a police officer on fire and injured three others by pelting them with flares before a game against Aston Villa.

As Legia fans were being held at a coach park near Villa’s stadium, flares and missiles were fired at police.

The game, which Villa won 2-1, began at the scheduled hour of 2000 GMT, but no Legia fans were permitted inside Villa Park prior to kickoff.

The officer who was engulfed in flames after being struck by a flare received burns and is currently being treated in a hospital.

Aston Villa have condemned the violence that resulted in the injuries of three police officers when Legia Warsaw fans engaged in violent skirmishes before Thursday’s Europa Conference League encounter.

A Birmingham Police statement on X, formerly known as Twitter, read: “We’re currently unable to allow away fans into Villa Park following disorder outside the stadium which has seen missiles thrown at officers.

“Three officers have already been injured and a significant policing operation continues. Please avoid Witton Lane where possible.”

Following fears about probable crowd disturbance, the Polish club’s ticket allocation was decreased to slightly about 1,000.

Legia supporters who did not have tickets promised to travel to Birmingham regardless of the restricted allocation.

“Aston Villa can confirm that no away fans were allowed into Villa Park for this evening’s UEFA Europa Conference League fixture with Legia Warsaw on the advice of West Midlands Police following large-scale disorder outside the stadium caused by visiting supporters,” the Premier League club said in a statement.

“The UK safety authorities, UEFA and Aston Villa, communicated on November 2 that the ticket allocation for away fans for this fixture would be reduced to 1,002 on the advice of safety authorities as a result of previous large-scale disorder caused by Legia fans last month at AZ Alkmaar.

“A number of Dutch police officers were injured during that disorder. As a consequence, UEFA banned Legia supporters from travelling to Mostar for their game against HSK Zrinjski.

“In spite of numerous requests for cooperation from Legia Warsaw concerning their travelling supporters, especially in the last two days, no assistance on the serious safety matter of away fans attending Villa Park was forthcoming from the visiting club.

“The club has repeatedly, including this morning, raised concerns in conjunction with UEFA and all the relevant authorities to Legia that ticketless away supporters were attempting to attend Villa Park.”

When Legia supporters marched towards Villa Park, they were confronted by a wall of police officers wearing helmets with visors to protect themselves.

The flares were set off as the officers were being cuffed, resulting in the incident that resulted in the officers’ injuries.

During the game, the portion of Villa Park normally reserved for visiting spectators was completely vacant, but there was additional crowd unrest outside the stadium.

Social media videos showed Legia fans gathered in a street hurling bottles at Villa supporters who were watching from inside the stadium.

“Aston Villa strongly condemns the behaviour of those visiting supporters and would like to thank West Midlands Police for their professionalism in very difficult circumstances,” the club added.

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