Man Utd fans complain of ‘deplorable treatment’ in Bruges

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Updated: 25/03/2023


Manchester United fans in Bruges prior to kick-off

A Manchester United fans group has written an open letter to the mayor of Bruges, complaining of what they call “deplorable treatment” during their trip to the city.

Ole Gunnar Solskjaer's side drew 1-1 with Club Bruges last week in the first leg of their Europa League last-32 tie.

Supporters described the trip as “the worst experience of a European away game they'd had for many years”.

“Fans were in genuine fear for their safety,” the letter said.

“We returned home with an impression of Bruges that should shame all those responsible for our safety and security,” the Manchester United Supporters Trust continued.

“We have numerous reports that the police instructed taxi drivers to stay away from the ground and not to pick up Manchester United fans. It was a long walk in horrendous weather conditions from the town to the stadium.”

The letter to mayor Dirk De fauw also questioned the local police's use of water cannons and barbed wire barriers, as well as an apparent refusal to allow supporters to exit the stadium.

“We would be embarrassed if visitors to Manchester were treated as described above – are you not ashamed of the way visitors to your city were treated?” it read. “Poor treatment is one issue but the safety concerns go far beyond that and we will be sending a report to Uefa outlining the issues our supporters have sent to us.”

In the letter, MUST also alleged:

  • fans had been “deliberately sent in the wrong direction on long detours”
  • there was “almost universal hostility from police when they were approached for assistance/directions”
  • exit gates in the stadium were “locked leading to the build up of crowds and the risk of a crush developing”

Manchester United fans are being invited to submit personal accounts of their experiences through the Trust's website.

BBC Sport has contacted the mayor's office for comment.

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