Friday 19 January 2018

Female fans 'told to show their bras' to staff

'Both Stevenage and the EFL are examining allegations away supporters were ordered to lift their tops while queuing to get into Saturday’s League Two fixture between the clubs.' Photo: Getty Images
'Both Stevenage and the EFL are examining allegations away supporters were ordered to lift their tops while queuing to get into Saturday’s League Two fixture between the clubs.' Photo: Getty Images

Ben Rumsby

A complaint that female fans in England were forced to show their bras to stewards before Stevenage's football match against Grimsby Town is under investigation.

Both Stevenage and the EFL are examining allegations away supporters were ordered to lift their tops while queuing to get into Saturday's League Two fixture between the clubs.

An open letter sent to Stevenage by Grimsby Town fans group the Mariners Trust also accused stewards of asking to feel the underwiring of any bras during the "gross invasion of privacy".

"Several female supporters were asked to lift their tops up to show their bras to female stewards upon entry to the Lamex Stadium," it stated. "This decision - in the queue in front of other supporters, including men and male stewards - is a gross invasion of privacy.

"Female supporters have also since contacted us to state they were asked by female stewards if they could feel their bras if they confirmed that they were underwired.

"The supporters were made to feel uncomfortable and when they replied they would 'rather not' they were 'reluctantly' let into the ground.

"This act would effectively constitute a sexual assault and these types of searches are unlawful. If deemed necessary, although we cannot see how feeling an underwire in a bra could be deemed so unless acting on previous intelligence, then any fans in question should have been taken to a private area of the ground to be searched by a female steward rather than being searched in full view of male stewards, fans and police.

"We are not aware at this stage that any previous intelligence contributed to these types of searches being implemented against female supporters."

The letter also claimed full body searches were carried out on children as young as five.

Stevenage announced they had launched an investigation, while the EFL said it was looking into the matter as well.

Irish Independent

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