Saturday, 1 December 2007

Aberdeen fan gang raped in Madrid

An example of how rape is men's violence towards women and not sexual - I don't follow football or fully understand what is happening with the football violence but the "alleged" gang rape of this woman football fan stood out for me.

The female victim, who is understood to be in her late twenties, was reportedly raped by a group of Spanish men as she made her way back to the city-centre hotel where she had been staying. She is believed to have become separated from friends minutes before the attack on Wednesday, the night before the European fixture.

A spokesman for the British Consulate confirmed they had assisted a Scottish woman in connection with an alleged gang rape.

But while Scottish fans have accused Spanish police of heavyhanded tactics, Grampian Police believe known troublemakers who associate themselves with the Pittodrie club travelled to the game with the intention of causing violence.

However, there were no reports of any arrests amongst the Aberdeen supporters.

An estimated 6,000 Aberdeen fans are believed to have made the trip, with only 3,000 tickets officially allocated.

At least one fan, Ian Bremner, a father of two, was taken to hospital during clashes in the Spanish capital.

Friends of the 38-year-old project manager, originally from Buckie, Moray, who now works in Denmark, claimed yesterday he was repeatedly struck over the head by police armed with batons as he made his way to Vicente Calderón stadium for the game.

Lindsay Bartlet, 45, who was with Mr Bremner at the time, said: "It was way over the top for the police to charge at us like that; it was completely unprovoked."

It is understood Mr Bremner was due to be discharged from the Clinico San Carlos Madrid Hospital last night.

John Morgan, Aberdeen FC's head of security, said he witnessed a child of about ten being hit with a baton, and also saw women being struck.

Superintendent Adrian Watson, of Grampian Police, said: "There was a clash between fans and the Spanish police, but the trouble was limited to a small number of troublemakers. This small group travelled to Madrid with the intention of causing trouble."

Four Grampian Police officers were in Madrid to assist the Spanish police. Mr Watson said they were now making efforts to obtain CCTV footage of the violence.

Dave Macdermid, a spokesman for Aberdeen FC, said the club was to write to Uefa.

He said: "There is no doubt there were problems with violence, but it was limited to a small number of people.

"Most of the fans behaved impeccably and I would like to thank them for that. Unfortunately, there was a small number that did not and that is where the violence stemmed from."

The Spanish media reported yesterday that at least 17 people had suffered injuries during the trouble, which saw riot police try to control the crowd after flares, bottles and other objects were thrown.

One Aberdeen supporter told of fights in the stand and violent clashes outside of the ground.

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