Home » Manchester United fans’ night in Istanbul compounded by UEFA’s treatment of travelling fans

Manchester United fans’ night in Istanbul compounded by UEFA’s treatment of travelling fans

by Alex Browne

Manchester United fans did not only suffer viewing two leads being thrown away in Istanbul but also had to experience a series of amateur moments during their time in the stadium.

Freelance journalist, Matt Ford, claimed on X (formerly Twitter) that despite watching an enthralling 3-3 draw in a “in a brilliant city full of friendly and football-mad people”, the “whole thing was then tarnished” by UEFA’s incompetent treatment of travelling fans.

Manchester United’s army of away fans would already have been crushed to see their team throw away a two-goal cushion twice in the game to finish with a draw that leaves their qualification hopes hanging by a thread.

The journalist made a series of accusations against the European body’s handling of the situation in Turkey.

Ford claimed that the first botched moment of the night came when arriving at RAMS Park at the away end. He claimed that fans had to wait in “huge queues” in the rain for eight turnstiles, of which only six seemed operational.

Moreover, wooden delivery pallets were inexplicably lying on the floor, where everyone was tripping over them in the dark. However, when he and other fans got to the turnstiles the reason for the delay became clear.

The fiasco continued with printed tickets completely soaked and consequently, QR codes were not operational with many phones not even fitting in the scanners. The journalist claimed that this chaotic gridlock led to him and many others missing the start of the match.

The farce seemingly was never-ending, as no help or solutions were offered by the local stewards or police. Additionally, Ford claims that very few of them could communicate in English despite being an international event.

The journalist also lambasted United’s two stewards present claiming, they were “unhelpful”. After eventually making it through, fans were shepherded into a small single door, where police officers were aggressive and seemed “more intent on accosting people than checking tickets”.

It is then claimed that after being subjected to this, fans squeezed through to an area with a dripping roof causing puddles. It is a familiar sight for those who regularly go to Old Trafford.

Ford claims that he had missed the first 30 minutes of the game, which meant the score was already 2-1 to United after a blistering start to the game.

The nightmare continued after the match. The journalist asserted that away fans were held back 80 minutes after the game, which meant the last metros had just left and were provided with no information. This led to many fans being left stranded on the rain-soaked motorway, miles from the city. Apparently, there were also very few buses and this resulted in many being “at the mercy of rip-off taxi drivers”.

Matt Ford finished by exclaiming that the next time you watch a “shiny” production of UEFA matches on TV, take a moment to remember how the fans, who do the hard miles and spend their hard-earned cash, are treated like “farm animals”. He asserted, “In no other walk of life would you get away with it”.

The Galatasaray fans welcomed the Red Devils’ players with a “Welcome to Hell” message in the middle stand. The travelling supporters would probably argue they were the ones experiencing the true hell, not the playing staff.

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