Chelsea supporters were the victims of two unprovoked attacks around an Istanbul bar at Taksin Square on Tuesday night, with an eye-witness claiming the assailants were using bottles and knives.
The fans were a part of two separate incidents the day before the Blues’ trip to Galatasaray – the same area where two Leeds fans were attacked and killed in 2000, ahead of a UEFA Cup semi-final.
Neither of the Chelsea fans were thought to be seriously hurt – one has a wound on the hand – and neither required hospital attention. The club were made aware of the incident.
– Supporters were victims of unprovoked attacks in the centre of Istanbul
– Eye-witnesses claim locals were armed with knives and bottles
– Chelsea face Galatasaray in the last-16 of the Champions League
A 57-year-old fan, who preferred not to be named, was among those attacked and said: ‘About 30 of them attacked a group of ten of us in the main street off Taksim Square.
‘There were a few of them out looking for Chelsea. There were guys with bumps and bruises.
‘I think tonight (Wednesday) will be worse.’
Seb Owens, 22 from Putney, said: ‘We were walking down the main drag looking for a pub when a huge group of them attacked us with bottles and knives. We had to split up to get away so I don’t know how many were hurt.’
The club’s security experts will spend Wednesday investigating the incidents and speaking to fans in order to gather more information. Around 1,300 are expected at the ground for the last-16 clash.
Chelsea have to provide a report to UEFA, although it is up to the local police to deal with the issue primarily.