Updated April 19th, 2024 at 10:33 IST

Group condemns 'humiliating searches' by security at Barcelona stadium

The director of a group that advocates for female sports fans says she and other Paris Saint-Germain supporters were subjected to “abusive” searches while entering Barcelona’s stadium for a Champions League match earlier this week.

Paris Saint-Germain supporters arrive at the Olimpic Lluis Companys stadium for the Champions League quarterfinal second leg soccer match between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain in Barcelona | Image: AP
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The director of a group that advocates for female sports fans says she and other Paris Saint-Germain supporters were subjected to “abusive” searches while entering Barcelona's stadium for a Champions League match earlier this week.

Anoush Morel, the director of Her Game Too France, told L'Equipe and RMC Sport that her breasts, buttocks and groin were touched by a female security officer during a pat-down at the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium on Tuesday night. Other women reported similarly aggressive searches, she said.

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In a letter Thursday, the organization condemned the practice and called on “relevant authorities” to take action.

“It's unacceptable that spectators, fans and women in general were particularly targeted by these intrusive and humiliating searches that constitute sexual aggression,” the letter read.

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The group said there have been similar complaints at other stadiums in Europe, usually impacting visiting fans. It called on teams, organizers of the games and stadiums to ensure their security protocols avoid the “unfair treatment” of supporters.

It asks UEFA to provide answers on whether visiting fans in particular are being subjected to more aggressive searches.

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A request for comment from UEFA sent on Thursday evening was not immediately answered.

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Published April 19th, 2024 at 10:33 IST