Blind Liverpool fan makes formal complaint against Seville police tactics
There have been calls for the FA to do more to protect fans against ‘over-zealous policing’ abroad
A blind Liverpool fan was left feeling “vulnerable” and discriminated against after claiming his cane was snatched from him by police in Seville and called on the Football Association to do more to protect British supporters travelling abroad.
Eamon, 40, who watches Liverpool home and away, missed much of the first half of Liverpool’s dramatic 3-3 Champions League draw on Tuesday and says he was subjected to heavy handed policing at Sevilla’s Estadio Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán.
Eamon and girlfriend Helena Martel, who is originally from Gran Canaria, have made an official complaint to the Spanish police about aggressive treatment by the authorities. Their experience of heavy handed policing appears to have been shared by scores of Liverpool fans with the Anfield club promising to investigate the matter.
“I travel all round the world watching Liverpool and have been to places you would expect to be much more hostile but they were massively overzealous,” said Eamon, who preferred not to give his surname. “We made a formal complaint to the police and I’ll definitely be following it up.”
The couple arrived at the stadium together on Tuesday evening and struggled to locate Eamon’s friends who he was supposed to be watching the match alongside. “Spanish police treated him horribly,” said Helena, 44, who lives in Chester. “The fact he was blind made the situation even more awful.
“I asked a female police officer for help to get to the doors. She asked me for his ticket and she said: ‘He’s a blind person, he shouldn’t be here.’”
Other fans have complained of being groped during physical searches and having their bags grabbed from them to be scanned. “They snatched my cane away,” said Eamon.
“I snatched it back, they snatched it away again and a couple of people intervened to get it back. For people to think it’s alright in this day and age to treat people like that and tell people blind people they shouldn’t be at the football is disgusting.
“When is the English FA going to stand up for its fans as a collective. I go to football all the time and will continue to do so but what about someone else who is not as confident as me?”
Liverpool’s second-half capitulation in Seville, having led 3-0 at half-time, means they still need a result to be sure of progressing from Group E into the Champions League knockout stages when they host Spartak Moscow on December 6.