Manchester United fans attacked ahead of Europa League final in Gdańsk
A group of Manchester United fans visiting Gdańsk for the Europa League final were attacked on a restaurant terrace late on Tuesday, Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper reported, citing local police. Among the attacked fans were three citizens of Malta. Gdańsk Mayor Aleksandra Dulkiewicz condemned the incident, while the police said that arrests were imminent.
Local mayor Aleksandra Dulkiewicz condemned the attack on a group of between 20 and 30 fans, saying in a statement posted on Facebook that Gdańsk was an open city with no place for violence.
"Dear Manchester United and Villareal fans, all guests who came to Gdańsk - you are always appreciated here and we cordially welcome you to our city," she added.
Witnesses said the attackers were heard shouting the name of local football club Lechia. Police said they were analysing video footage and expected to make arrests.
Lechia Gdańsk issued a short statement condemning the incident and reassuring the club did not identify itself with hooliganism.
Manchester United and Villarreal fans enjoyed a beer or two in the old town of Poland's Gdańsk on Tuesday (May 25) evening, a day before the two sides will battle it out in the Europa League final on Wednesday (May 26).
Up to 9,500 fans will watch the two sides play at the city's Stadion Miejski on Wednesday evening, but the Spanish team may have more supporters on the ground due to the United Kingdom's quarantine rules for international travel.
Poland has waived the local non-Schengen quarantine rules for British fans arriving in Gdańsk on game day. Supporters should carry a negative test result taken before the flight and a ticket for the final.
Fans travelling directly from Spain will only need one negative test before they fly, not depending on whether they opt to travel on match day or one day prior. There will be no need to quarantine upon return to Spain.
But the British government has placed Poland on the amber list of countries and territories, which means anyone travelling there is required to quarantine for 10 days on return.
Villarreal fan Carlos Ventura, who travelled to Gdańsk from Spain for the match, said he had already been to see one game at home during the coronavirus pandemic but the final was "a special occasion".
Conversely, fewer Manchester United fans from the UK appeared to be soaking up the atmosphere in Gdańsk on Tuesday evening.
Sitting among other fans living in Poland or who had flown in from elsewhere, English teacher Mairead McMahon said many of her friends had been put off coming for the final due to the need to quarantine and test multiple times.
She said they had been unable to take holiday from their jobs when they got home, and had cancelled their plans to come. "If it was me I'd just lose my job" she laughed.
The match will kick off at 21:00 Polish time on Wednesday.
Źródło: TVN24 News in English, Reuters
Źródło zdjęcia głównego: eurosport