UEFA, the governing body for European football and the Europa League has charged Borussia Dortmund after 17 Tottenham fans were injured before last week’s Europa League first leg match.
The German club will be charged with blocking stairways to the ground, which breaches Article 38 of safety and security regulations. The disciplinary proceedings will begin on 19 May.
Spurs fans were hurt as they struggled to enter the Westfalenstadion before the Round game, with entrances temporarily closed. A congestion developed as supporters were redirected shortly before kick-off, and Dortmund police had reportedly used pepper spray to try to control the Spurs fans.
Tottenham officially stated that this created “a potentially dangerous situation” and condemned the use of pepper spray as “unnecessary and unacceptable”.
Martin Cloake, co-chairman of the Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust, said: “It’s one of the worst experiences I’ve had to get into a ground.”
A Tottenham spokesman added that ‘the misdirection’ created a potentially dangerous situation, and that the use of pepper sprays ‘completely unnecessary’ and ‘unacceptable’.
On the other hand, Dortmund police said that it was the late arrival of Spurs fans that created unexpected pressure on the entrances, which had to be temporarily closed.
Their statement read: “In order to prevent an uncontrolled entrance of the followers of Tottenham, pepper spray and baton was used by the police, in which 17 English supporters were slightly injured due to eye irritation.”
“Furthermore, a police officer and five employees of the security service were wounded in the course of these measures.”
Tottenham would face Dortmund once again in their Europa League’s second leg game in White Hart Lane this week.