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General news

Mayor calls for Uefa action after police injured at Aston Villa match

West Midlands mayor Andy Street has called for European football chiefs to take “strong action” after three police officers were injured before Aston Villa’s game with Legia Warsaw.

West Midlands Police said fans of the Polish side were not allowed into the stadium after missiles were thrown at officers before the start of the Europa Conference League game on Thursday evening.

Mr Street thanked the “brave officers” and criticised the “deeply unpleasant scenes” outside Villa Park in Birmingham.

Objects were thrown at police during the disorder and visiting fans were held in a coach park before Villa went on to win the match 2-1.

Writing on X, formerly Twitter, Mr Street said: “Deeply unpleasant scenes outside Villa Park tonight, which were dealt with absolutely appropriately by West Midlands Police.

“A huge thank you to the brave officers who put themselves in harms way to keep others safe.

“I trust UEFA will now move swiftly to take strong action.”

Police said a “significant policing operation” had been carried out and the game was able to kick off at 8pm.

Aston Villa v Legia Warsaw – UEFA Europa Conference League – Group E – Villa Park
Empty seats in the away section during the match at Villa Park (David Davies/PA)

A statement released by Birmingham police earlier said: “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 & a significant policing operation continues.

“Please avoid Witton Lane where possible.”

Aston Villa later confirmed no away fans were allowed into the ground for the game after the disruption.

The club wrote: “Aston Villa Football Club 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.”