Ugly scenes unfolded ahead of a Europa Conference League match between Aston Villa and Legia Warsaw, leading to at least three police officers being injured. The disorder erupted in response to the decision to bar visiting Legia Warsaw fans from entering Villa Park, after objects were thrown at the police. The West Midlands Police have called for people to avoid Witton Lane.
Clash Over Ticket Allocation
The conflict came in the wake of Legia Warsaw's criticism of Aston Villa for limiting the number of tickets offered to their away fans. Aston Villa had redirected supporters with tickets for a specific block to use alternate turnstiles and follow staff guidance. The Polish club had their ticket allocation reduced to just under 1,000 due to concerns over potential crowd trouble. Despite this, approximately another 1,000 supporters turned up at Villa Park without tickets.
Police Response to the Disorder
A significant police operation was launched, involving officers with riot shields. Legia Warsaw supporters were confined to a coach park behind the Witton Lane stand after being denied entry into the stadium. The police reported that missiles were thrown at officers, and three of them were injured as a result. Aston Villa's match against Legia Warsaw started at 8 pm, without any away fans of the Polish club being allowed into Villa Park.
Legia Warsaw's Stand Against the Decision
Legia Warsaw has accused Aston Villa of refusing to allocate tickets to away fans in accordance with UEFA regulations. The club's official delegation, owner, and president refused to enter Villa Park in solidarity with their supporters. Legia Warsaw fans were previously banned from their match at Zrinjski Mosta earlier in the competition following crowd trouble against AZ Alkmaar.
Introduction of the BBC's New Website
Meanwhile, the BBC has announced the beta launch of its new website. The updated design aims to enhance user experience by offering a cleaner interface and additional sections such as Innovation and Business. It also features a new live page for breaking news and updates. However, the BBC clarifies that the beta site may contain unknown bugs or errors and comes with no warranties.