Bolton protest over Spanish police
LONDON (Reuters) - Bolton Wanderers have made an official protest to UEFA about the treatment of their fans by Spanish police during Thursday's UEFA Cup tie against Atletico Madrid.
The English Premier League club reached the last 16 with a 0-0 draw in the Vicente Calderon stadium, having won the first leg 1-0, but said the triumph was marred by skirmishes between Bolton fans and baton-wielding Spanish police.
The club's Web site (www.bwfc.premiumtv.co.uk) said fans had been subjected to unprovoked baton charges and over-aggressive use of police horses outside the stadium.
"I have great sympathy for any of our supporters who have been injured by what is clearly an overreaction by the Spanish police," Bolton chairman Phil Gartside said in a statement issued on Friday.
"The club will be pursuing the matter at the highest level and seeking an explanation from the Spanish authorities."
Bolton said they would liaise with Greater Manchester Police and the British Embassy to gather more information about the incidents before, during and after the match.
"Bolton Wanderers has launched an official protest with UEFA and its security delegates, who witnessed the behaviour of the local police force," the club said on its Web site. "The club believes the actions of the Madrid police are entirely unacceptable."
Last year Tottenham Hotspur fans were injured by Spanish police during a UEFA Cup tie against Sevilla.
(Reporting by Martyn Herman, editing by Sonia Oxley)
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