Chaos erupted outside Villa Park as clashes between police and Legia Warsaw fans led to three police officers sustaining injuries after projectiles were hurled at them. The incident occurred ahead of the Europa Conference League tie between Aston Villa and Legia Warsaw.
The away fans were contained in a car park behind the Witton Lane stand after tensions escalated, resulting in the exclusion of away supporters from the stadium. This decision came following a disagreement regarding ticket allocations, with Aston Villa reducing Legia’s allocation to only 890 tickets, contrary to the initially agreed-upon 1,700 tickets.
UEFA regulations typically permit the visiting team five percent of the stadium’s capacity, which would amount to 2,100 tickets at Villa Park. However, disagreements over ticket allocation prompted the tense situation outside the stadium.
Legia Warsaw had proposed the compromise of 1,700 tickets, mirroring the number allocated to English club fans visiting Warsaw, a proposition documented in the UEFA delegate’s report dated September 21. Yet, on November 2, Legia received a revised decision drastically reducing the ticket allocation, leading to frustration and multiple appeals to Aston Villa F.C.
The fans’ frustration escalated as they were met with barriers and a line of police officers, prompting the deployment of helmets with visors by the officers for protection. Flares were ignited by some fans as tensions intensified outside the stadium.
While the clashes outside brewed, the match between Villa and Legia promised to be an intense battle between Group E’s top two sides, both tied at nine points after four matches. Legia had previously won the reverse fixture in Poland, defeating Unai Emery’s team 3-2 in September.
The situation remains contentious, reflecting a discord between the club, fans, and authorities, overshadowing what was supposed to be an eagerly anticipated football encounter.