- Posted by: Mike Hedges MS
- Categories: Latest News, Press Releases
Earlier today in the Senedd, Labour AM Mike Hedges called on the Welsh Government to raise the unacceptable treatment of Swansea City FC supporters by the Neapolitan authorities with the UK Government and Foreign Office.
The issue was raised by the Swansea AM as a result of long security delays and disorganised transport arrangements encountered by Swansea City FC fans during their trip to Naples to watch the Swans play Napoli on Thursday 27th February 2014. As a result of the delays, hundreds of Swans fans missed the start of the game and the first goal, which has led to the Premier League side lodging an official complaint with UEFA.
Highlighting the issue during questions to the First Minister, Swansea East AM Mike Hedges said:
“Last month hundreds of Swansea City supporters, who paid a small fortune to travel to Naples to support the Jacks, missed the start of the match and the first goal as a result of excessive security delays and disorganised travelling arrangements made by the Neapolitan authorities.
“Does the First Minister share my concern over the treatment of the Swansea City fans, and will he raise the issue with counterparts in the Foreign Office at the earliest opportunity?”
Responding to the question, First Minister Carwyn Jones said:
“I’m aware that the South Wales Police worked with the Italian police to ensure that policing and security plans ran smoothly, but ultimately the travel delays experienced by Swans fans rest with the authorities in Naples, rather than with us in Wales. I understand that UEFA are aware of the matter, and we wait to see what their response will be.”
Speaking from outside the Senedd, Mike Hedges added:
“I gave my constituents and the Swans’ Supporters Trust an undertaking that I would raise the matter with the First Minister for Wales, and that’s exactly what I’ve done.
“Although foreign relations are not a matter for the Assembly, I do believe that the UK Government needs to make it clear to the Neapolitan authorities that such treatment of visiting football supporters is unacceptable, and that they need to urgently look at their security and transport arrangements to avoid another disaster happening in the future.”