The Manchester United Supporters Trust (MUST) has written an open letter to the Mayor of Bruges complaining about the treatment of travelling fans last Thursday.
The Telegraph reports that the letter was sent after fans in the Belgian city were treated like animals in appalling weather conditions.
The letter claims that United fans ‘feared for their lives’, with barbed wire and water cannons being deployed outside the ground.
Fans were forced to make the long four kilometre walk from the city centre to the Jan Breydel stadium in driving rain as three major storms circulated around Belgium.
Local taxi firms were instructed to not accept fares from United fans and Reds were even forced off buses, the latter claims.
Inside the ground, the United fans were positioned in an open air section of the stadium and their view was obstructed with netting. Gates blocking fans’ exits were locked after the game causing ‘dangerous crushes’ to build up ‘on flights of stairs and on the concourse’.
An open letter to the Mayor of Brugge regarding the treatment of visiting Manchester United supportershttps://t.co/uMCMWbRyPd@dirk_defauw@stadbrugge @Clubbrugge @visit_bruges @BelPoliceEvent @fedPolice_rX @RoyalBelgianFA pic.twitter.com/EhYtxvDSLU
— M.U.S.T (@MU_ST) February 24, 2020
MUST further accused local police’s behaviour as being ‘deplorable’. ‘It is not an exaggeration to say that many fans were in genuine fear for their safety at times throughout the evening’ the letter states.
‘We returned home with an impression of Bruges that should shame all those responsible for our safety and security.’
The letter continued: ‘This was the worst experience of a European away game they’d had for many years – and our previous recent visit to Bruges was a low point at the time.’
‘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?’
‘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.’
The mayor of Bruges, Dirk De Fauw, claimed that he had not received or heard about the letter but that he would reply to MUST ‘if I receive it in the post’.
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