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Manchester United confirm entry of 2,000 Galatasaray fans in home end, chief explains reason why they weren’t ejected

Deco tells Manchester United that Barcelona superstar is not for sale.
Deco tells Manchester United that Barcelona superstar is not for sale.

More than 2,000 Galatasaray fans were in the Manchester United stand

According to the official Manchester United announcement (h/t Manchester Evening News), 2,000 Galatasaray supporters were reportedly permitted entry into the home section at Old Trafford earlier this month.

On October 3, United hosted Galatasaray for their second Champions League group stage match. After the 3-2 loss, there were pockets of the away fans cheering in the home section. Hundreds of supporters in the Sir Bobby Charlton Stand hurried to the away end to join in the festivities, while a sizable group of supporters were seated together in the Sir Alex Ferguson Stand.

Manchester United also claimed that several Galatasaray supporters were sent away, but COO Collette Roche clarified that those who made it into the home area were left alone since “forced ejection can pose risks.”

Manchester United's home end was populated by Galatasaray fans
Manchester United’s home end was populated by Galatasaray fans

 Chief operating officer Collette Roche said:

“As such, our system showed that these tickets were predominantly sold to long-standing official members who have attended other matches in recent seasons, with a large percentage being to those under the age 16, and therefore did not appear in pre-match checks to pose any risk. In reality, those who turned up on the night were adult Galatasaray fans.”

Manchester United also acknowledged that the invasion of the home section was a result of its sales strategy, which allowed non-members to purchase tickets in hospitality areas for games at Old Trafford.

As with all European games, United had put restrictions on ticket sales to anyone having a Turkish address in an effort to prevent visiting fans from entering home sections. At this point, United thinks the problem was caused by sales made to Galatasaray supporters in the UK via channels.

Roche also said:

“‘Whilst this hasn’t presented issues in the last couple of decades, the volume of tickets accessed by non-Turkish residents who transpired to be Galatasaray fans was unacceptable. I hope the above update gives you some reassurance that we take this matter seriously and are working with our fan representatives to avoid a potential repeat. I apologise to those affected and thank you as always for your continued support.”

Away supporters must be separated during a match, according to UEFA rules and the majority of club and international fixtures are conducted in this manner.

At the final whistle, the away fans had every reason to celebrate as their team twice overcame a goal deficit to win 3-2. After missing a penalty, Mauro Icardi scored the game-winning goal with a deft finish.

Erik ten Hag's team could not avoid defeat against Galatasaray (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/GettyImages)
Erik ten Hag’s team could not avoid defeat against Galatasaray (Photo by MANAN VATSYAYANA/GettyImages)

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Nevertheless, having lost both our games in the Champions League group stage, we find ourselves in a precarious position. A win against Brentford must have boosted the confidence of the team. Regarding the stadium fiasco, not much can be done right now. The only thing is to ensure it doesn’t happen again in the future.

Written by Aditya Bose

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