A female Liverpool fan has spoken of a horrendous ordeal she suffered in Seville as the club launched an inquiry into claims supporters were abused by Spanish police.
Vicki Kropp, who has attended matches in Europe regularly over the past two years with husband, Ty, says her experience at the hands of a Spanish female steward at Sevilla’s Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan bordered on physical assault.
Her story reflects what turned out to be a nightmare for many travelling Liverpudlians, who claim to have been subjected to aggressive and violent treatment by the authorities before, during and after the dramatic 3-3 Champions League draw.
A female Liverpool fan has spoken of the horrendous ordeal she suffered in Seville on Tuesday
Kropp, 49, arrived in Seville on Sunday and says the mood around the city had been nothing but convivial, rival fans mixing without any problem.
But once she and her husband, who are from Warrington, reached the stadium the atmosphere became more sinister.
She told Sportsmail: ‘I have been subjected to rough searches before, such as before Augsburg in the Europa League (in February 2016). This was totally different.
‘Normally you are asked to hand over your bag to be searched but this time it was grabbed off me.
‘I was then physically searched to such an extent the steward pulled the wires of my bra and then, effectively, groped both my breasts.
‘I was then spun around and my legs kicked apart. She searched the inside of my leg and then, for want of a better word, grabbed my undercarriage.
‘It was horrible — by far the worst experience I have had at a match. Outside the stadium there was another lady crying. She was heartbroken, inconsolable. I don’t know what had happened to her.
‘There was nobody you could speak to. You were made to feel that if you complained to the Spaniards, you would not have been allowed in. It was worse because we did not see one Liverpool steward around.’
Liverpool fans claim to have been subjected to aggressive and violent treatment throughout
Vicki Kropp says her experience at the Estadio Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan bordered on assault
Ty Kropp, 51, sent a tweet to Anfield chief executive Peter Moore on Wednesday asking why no Liverpool stewards were present.
In fact, Liverpool had sent six stewards, while there was also a representative from Merseyside Police and an FA safety representative — standard procedure for European matches.
‘We were outside the stadium 75 minutes before kick-off,’ Ty said. ‘When we got in, it was a complete farce. Stewards were saying to sit anywhere. It was a joke — there was no organisation. I saw police laying into young lads for no reason. I saw one give one of our fans a belt across the head with a baton. He was laughing as (the fan) lay on the floor. It was as bad as anything I’ve seen.’
The Sevilla trip was seen as the big one for Liverpool fans in the group stages, given the difficulties and cost of getting to Spartak Moscow in September and the lack of seats for October’s game against Maribor in Slovenia.
Tuesday’s Group E clash was a sell-out but it was noticeable how many empty seats there were in the away section, with reports that fans had been turned away or held back at the turnstiles.
Kropp claimed stewards groped her during security checks on her way into the ground
Despite fans mixing in the city with no problems, the atmosphere turned sinister at the ground
Liverpool said in a statement: ‘Following detailed and troubling accounts given by supporters attending the match against Sevilla, the club are seeking to establish the facts regarding their treatment at the hands of the host stewards and local police force.
‘The safety and security of our supporters is our paramount concern and we intend to gather all the relevant information before responding further.’
UEFA said: ‘We are aware that there were some issues at the away supporters’ entrances in regards to fans accessing the stadium. We have no further comment to make at this stage.’