Police charge 46 Legia Warsaw fans after violence at Villa Park | Legia Warsaw

Police have charged 46 men after Legia Warsaw supporters attacked police outside Villa Park in Birmingham on Thursday. West Midlands Police said five police officers, two police dogs and two police horses were injured when missiles were thrown by visiting fans during the Europa Conference League match.

In a statement confirming details of the charges, the force said 43 men were charged with public order offences, two with assaulting police officers and another with possession of a knife.

The statement added: “Those charged are aged between 21 and 63, and around 40 of them are believed to be from Poland. A small number are believed to reside in the UK.

“All but one of the men are due to appear in court today. He was released on bail and will appear in court at a later date. A special court has been established at Birmingham Magistrates and will begin hearing cases this morning.

Officers continue to review CCTV footage and body camera footage to identify additional suspects after “what was an appalling and violent public disorder”.

Two police officers from West Midlands, two from West Mercia and one from Derbyshire Police suffered minor injuries during the violence.

Superintendent Jim Munro, who is overseeing the criminal investigation, said: “Our investigation continues and we will review the footage and speak to witnesses over the coming days. Charging such a large number of people so quickly after such a serious disorder required a considerable effort from staff who worked around the clock.

“We have received a number of messages of thanks from the club and supporters who were in attendance on Thursday evening and saw the police operation first-hand, and we are truly grateful for this support.”

Police said fans of the Polish team were not allowed into the stadium after missiles were thrown at officers before the start of the match.

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West Midlands Mayor Andy Street called on European football leaders to take “robust action”, thanking “brave officers” and criticizing “deeply unpleasant scenes”.

In a previous statement, Ch Inspector Tim Robinson said: “This should have been a great evening of football which was enjoyed by supporters of both clubs. Unfortunately, there were appalling scenes where supporters dangerously threw flares and other missiles at our officers.

He said the “extreme violence” had left police with no choice but to prevent away fans from entering the stadium, adding: “Everyone’s safety is our priority and we clearly had no no other choice. »

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