Members of THST who were on the scene immediately contacted senior THFC officials, and we witnessed the scenes that unfolded, including the use of pepper spray on fans by police. We were also able to provide some advice and assistance to fans on the scene.
Immediately after the game, THFC arranged for THST reps to meet BVB’s head of security so that first-hand accounts of what had happened could be given directly to the host club by fans.
After the game, THST put out a call for fans to send in personal accounts of their experiences. Over 60 did. These accounts were compiled and sent, with a covering letter, to THFC, BVB and UEFA.
As a result of that submission, and a complaint from THFC about the use of pepper spray on our fans, changes were implemented by BVB, matchday stewards and the police for future games.
UEFA are content that the Clubs have discussed the problems and have agreed procedures for future, similar events and don’t feel the need to be formally involved. They have seen the new system in action and are satisfied with it.
A statement by Dortmund police after the game sought to blame Spurs fans for the problems that occurred that night. We rejected that at the time, and we believe that the decisions taken to change entry procedures for future games underlines the fact that problems on the night were not caused by our fans.
Following discussions between the clubs and subsequently with THST, a clear account of events has emerged, and we want to put this on public record.
Police escorted a group of fans from the Station and took them to the North East turnstile section, which was the wrong entrance. Fans, from both Clubs, were then encouraged to go to the North Central turnstile gates, but joined the queue from the side and not from the back,
This caused a build up at the gates and the Stewards on the other side closed the gates to ease congestion. This made the situation worse.
Once Stewards felt that the situation had calmed down, they re-opened the gates. But further pushing from the rear of the queue took place as kick off approached, as fans were still being directed in to the back of the queue. This resulted in the gates being closed for a second time.
THFC staff endeavoured to enter the queues to request that people moved away from the turnstiles, but it was not possible for fans at the front to move back.
Announcements were only made after requests from THFC staff, and fans were unhappy at the tone and content of the messages.
The gates eventually reopened and fans were admitted without further incident. Fans from both Clubs were involved as there is no segregation at this end of the Stadium and this is a point of entry for home fans as well. There were no problems between fans on the night.
Dortmund police have not formally accepted the issues were caused initially by them taking supporters to the wrong entrance. Instead they attempted to place the blame on our fans. We believe the changes implemented as a result of the information we submitted effectively clear our fans of any blame.
We are glad that measures have been put in place to ensure no other fans experience what a large number of our fans experienced that night. We’d like to place on record our thanks to THFC for helping us to secure changes and for condemning the treatment of our fans, and to the supporters of BVB who contacted us offering support.
We’d also like to thank the fans who took the time and effort to contact us with accounts of their experiences. This has helped clear the name of Spurs fans, and secured practical benefits for away fans attending games at Signal Iguna Park in future.
We now consider this matter closed.
23 May 2016