Polish PM fumes as players arrested in Holland

Poland’s prime minister and soccer authorities demanded explanations from the Netherlands on Friday as two Legia Warsaw players were detained after scuffles with police following the Europa Conference League match at AZ Alkmaar.

There was also trouble with fans. Dutch police said in a statement that, contrary to previous security agreements with their Polish counterparts and the club, Legia supporters had traveled to the game.

Portuguese player Josué and Serbian Radovan Pankov, who had been taken off the team bus by police, remained in custody while the rest of the squad returned to Poland.

It was not immediately clear what provoked the scuffles with police after Legia lost 1-0 to Group E rival Alkmaar on Thursday.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki, who is campaigning ahead of Oct. 15 parliamentary elections, said he had tasked Poland’s diplomats to investigate the matter.

Morawiecki said on X, previously Twitter, that “Polish players and fans must be treated according to law. We do not agree to law violations.”

The secretary general of Poland’s PZPN Football Federation, Lukasz Wachowski, said he is demanding explanations from his Dutch counterparts and the European soccer body UEFA.

UEFA said it was gathering evidence to consider possible disciplinary cases. Clubs are held responsible for their fans’ behavior at stadiums for European games.

Legia fans “stormed” entrance gates, clashing with stewards and the police, with one officer passing out. Some supporters grabbed batons and pepper gas from the police, and got in without tickets, the Dutch police statement said.

After the match, the police sealed some exits, leading to clashes, according to reports.

Legia president Dariusz Mioduski also received unpleasant treatment from the police, the reports added. Mioduski is a Harvard-educated lawyer and a member of the management board at the Court of Arbitration of Sport.

All four teams in Group E, the others are Aston Villa and Zrinjski Mostar, have three points after two matches.

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