Borussia Dortmund fans have been chased down and attacked in the streets ahead of the Champions League last-16 game at Zenit St. Petersburg.
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Several BVB supporter groups were assaulted by followers of the Russian club prior to the first leg of their tie on Tuesday, and have been warned by Dortmund’s fan liaison officer Jens Volke to be careful as Zenit fans in the city centre “in groups of up to 20” are seeking out away fans.
He added on his Twitter account: “Watch out, assaults on BVB fans in the city are still ongoing.”
Passt auf euch auf, es gibt weiterhin Angriffe auf BVB-Fans in der Stadt. Heimische Anhänger sind in Gruppen bis zu 20 auf der Suche.— Jens Volke (@JensVolke) February 25, 2014
ESPN FC was informed on Tuesday morning that several BVB fan groups, some of them not instantly recognisable as travelling supporters, have been chased by such groups in Saint Petersburg’s city centre and Volke added that “50 to 60” had been attacked, with one suffering a fractured nose and others sustaining more minor injuries.
UEFA has already ordered Zenit to close the sections of the Petrovsky Stadium used by the club’s “Ultras” for the first leg of the Dortmund tie after fans displayed racist banners and let off fireworks during the 4-1 defeat at Austria Vienna in the Champions League earlier this season.
Zenit’s general director, Maxim Mitrofanov, had earlier told the Russian club’s official website that additional ticket checks will be in place for the game to prevent those prohibited from attending the match getting into the stadium.
He said there would not be “an especially sharp tightening of security measures” but added: “UEFA adopted sanctions and security measures in accordance with the disciplinary regulations.
“Petrovsky Stadium was partially disqualified -- all four ‘Ultra’ sections will be closed for the match. Fans with season tickets to these sections will not be allowed into the stadium. These fans will not be allowed to buy tickets to other sectors of the stadium either. That would contradict UEFA’s sanctions. Season ticket holders for disqualified sectors will not be allowed into the territory of the stadium.
“I’m forced to disappoint those season ticket holders from the prohibited sections who wish to still get inside the stadium -- they won`t be able to do so.”
He also promised to show the Dortmund fans “true Russian hospitality” by offering them hot tea and pies so as “to soften the influence of any cold weather on the match atmosphere.”