Saturday 24 August 2019

Liverpool fans 'mistreated' by Seville police

Liverpool fans before the match. Photo: Reuters
Liverpool fans before the match. Photo: Reuters

Chris Bascombe

Liverpool are investigating claims from supporters they were mistreated by Seville police ahead of Tuesday's Champions League tie.

Fans have complained of heavy-handedness from Spanish police and stewards at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan Stadium, many accounts describing violence and refusal of entry. The Merseyside club are liaising with supporters to collect witness statements. "Following detailed and troubling accounts given by Liverpool supporters attending the match against Sevilla, the club is seeking to establish the facts regarding their treatment at the hands of the host stewards and local police force," the club announced.

"The safety and security of our supporters is our paramount concern and we intend to gather all the relevant information before responding further."

Europe's governing body Uefa also said it had been informed of the complaints. "We are aware that there were some issues at the away supporters' entrances in regards to fans accessing the stadium," a Uefa spokesman said.

Liverpool had 2,500 tickets for the game, which ended 3-3, although many hundreds more travelled to the Spanish city and watched the game in nearby bars and restaurants. Before and after the match, the atmosphere around the stadium was jovial, the trouble beginning as supporters tried to enter in the hour before kick-off.

On the field, Liverpool's second-half capitulation was put into a sombre perspective after it was confirmed the Spanish club's manager, Eduardo Berizzo, is suffering from prostate cancer. The Argentine coach delivered the news to his players last weekend.

It is the fifth time a lead of at least two goals has been lost under Jurgen Klopp, Sevilla joining Southampton, Newcastle, Sunderland and Bournemouth in achieving the feat, the first to do so from three down. Klopp felt the circumstances freakish as much as self-inflicted.

Captain Jordan Henderson says lessons must be learnt. "We have let ourselves down. The performance in the second half undid all the good work we did in the first," he said.

"It just felt as though we didn't start well in the second half, straight from the kick-off, and we didn't recover. We're really disappointed."

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