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Government minister hits out at "appalling" treatment of Wolves fans in Braga

By Peter Madeley | Wolverhampton | Wolves | Published:

Gavin Williamson has hit out at the "disgraceful" way that Wolves fans were dealt with by the Portuguese authorities in Braga.

Wolves fans were forced to wait outside the stadium in Braga (credit: Phil Bradley)

A number of travelling fans missed much of Thursday night's Europa League clash when they were forced to wait outside the stadium in torrential rain for security checks.

Government cabinet minister Gavin Williamson has written to the Portuguese ambassador in London to raise concerns about the treatment of Wolves fans.

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"The way that Wolves fans were treated in Portugal was absolutely shocking and disgraceful," said Mr Williamson, who is the parliamentary candidate for South Staffordshire.

"So many of them invested an awful lot of money to get out there, and would certainly not have expected such appalling treatment from the authorities.

Gavin Williamson has written to the Portuguese ambassador about the treatment of Wolves fans in Braga

"I have raised my concerns with the ambassador, and said that this is not the type of approach or attitude that we expect towards visiting fans from Wolverhampton and the rest of the country who were there to support their team."

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Around 6,000 Wolves fans travelled over to northern Portugal for the game, which ended 3-3 and saw Wolves qualify for the knock-out stages of the Europa League.

Wolves stewards hung up flags they retrieved from bins after they were confiscated by local security

Hundreds of supporters were kept waiting on a muddy field outside the Braga Municipal Stadium, while police searched them and confiscated items including bags, flags and umbrellas.

It followed two nights of violence in nearby Porto, which saw Wolves supporters "ambushed" by gangs of Standard Liege hooligans.

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One Brit was arrested during the trouble.

A Wolves spokesperson said: “We are aware of the issues a section of our supporters encountered upon trying to enter the stadium for [Thursday's] Europa League match in Braga.

“A number of Wolves staff were present at the time and expressed their concerns to UEFA officials during and after the match.

“We have also had correspondence from some supporters today who we will be responding to individually.

“We are now compiling a full report of our observations to share with UEFA and the Football Association.”

Peter Madeley

By Peter Madeley
@P_Madeley_Star

Political Editor for the Express & Star. Responsible for local and national political stories, opinion, comment and analysis.

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