We raised concerns about the police response to the behaviour of Marseille fans on their approach to the stadium and during the match.
The Club replied: “A group of visiting supporters were escorted by police from Seven Sisters to the stadium. During this time the police made a number of dynamic risk assessments regarding the management of their behaviour with a view to containing the group and ensuring wider public order.”
A particular concern was the firing of pyrotechnics inside the ground and how these managed to get past the security systems on entry to the stadium. The Club said: “Visiting supporters were required to enter the stadium via airport style security and past dogs specifically trained to identify the presence of pyrotechnics. Five such devices were confiscated pre-match and we are aware of two being smuggled in and used inside the stadium.”
We remain concerned that pyrotechnics could be smuggled into the ground with the associated risk of injury to supporters.
During the match
We asked about the numbers of trained and experienced stewards on duty, to which the Club stated that there were sufficient stewards with appropriate experience, who were taking dynamic instructions from the match control room as events developed. We remain concerned about the way events escalated and the speed of response. We raised with the Club the adequacy of the segregation arrangements and the response from stewards and police.
The Club responded: “The segregation line was seven seats wide, in line with Club policy for high risk matches and was adequate in preventing any direct confrontation between opposing fans. Police were not deployed on the segregation line, also in accordance with Club policy.
Until the second goal, the visiting supporters had not caused any disorder. Shortly after the goal an altercation between an individual visiting supporter and a steward escalated as other supporters tried to involve themselves in the incident. This led to gesturing and cup throwing from both sides of the segregation line and from stands above as the visiting supporters engaged stewards.
Police, who were positioned on a platform above the visitors' section were deployed into the seating area within two minutes of the initial altercation, immediately when it looked likely to escalate. They supported stewards in containing supporters and reinforced the segregation line. This response time was appropriate.
While the visiting supporters were being contained, cups continued to be thrown from either side of the segregation line and we are aware of one pyrotechnic device being thrown from the visitors' section into an area where home supporters were located.”
As a Trust we deplore the wilful damage to the Pride Flag and we expect stewards to be aware of its particular significance. We stand in support and solidarity with the Proud Lilywhites and have been reassured by the Club that the Pride flag will be in place for the next home game.
The Club state that neither they nor the police are aware of any serious post-match disorder. We have had reports from Spurs fans of isolated incidents experienced post-match. If you witnessed any serious incidents, please let THFC know by emailing email@example.com and copy us in on firstname.lastname@example.org .
Arrests and injuries
The Club informed us that a total of five arrests were made on the night, all of whom are understood to be visiting supporters. They had been contacted by a few supporters reporting injuries which are currently being investigated.
We remain concerned about a number of these issues and THST representatives will be meeting with the Club this week to discuss the incidents and response as well as the preparations for the remaining home fixtures.
13 September 2022