Shropshire Star

Traffic congestion blamed for Aston Villa fans suffering two hour delay in Poland

Traffic congestion has been blamed for delays which left Villa supporters stuck inside Legia Warsaw’s stadium for up to two hours after Thursday’s Europa Conference League match, writes Matt Maher.

Aston Villa fans in Warsaw

Villa’s 3-2 defeat was not the only cause of frustration for the 1,700 fans who travelled to the Polish capital as many were made to wait until long after the final whistle to exit the Stadion Wojska Polskiego.

Supporters had been warned they would be held inside the ground for around 40 minutes to allow home fans to make their exit first. But a lack of shuttle buses, with fans told they would not be allowed to leave the ground on foot, meant the wait ended up being considerably longer.

“It was really poorly organised,” James Edkins, a Villa supporter from Aldridge, told the Express & Star. “We were told before the buses back to the Old Town were an option but very quickly it became clear they were compulsory.

“The trouble was, there was only three of them. With the traffic it was taking them about 40 minutes to load up, make the journey into town and back and then do it all over again. At one point we were told we could leave if we could show we had a taxi or Uber booked but with the traffic so bad, none were coming near the stadium.

“People in hotels a 10-minute walk from the ground were told they couldn’t leave on foot. It was all very chaotic.”

Despite the frustration, the mood of supporters is thought to have remained good-natured and there were no reports of trouble.

Congestion around the stadium is believed to have been exacerbated by a major incident nearby, in which a man died after falling from a bridge.