Union Berlin ultras accuse Spanish police of using batons 'at head height', pepper spray and threatening use of rubber bullets in ugly scenes before Real Madrid Champions League clash

Union Berlin fans Real Madrid 2023Getty
  • Union fans had trouble accessing the stadium
  • Crowds gathered outside the Bernabeu
  • Group claims police used heavy-handed tactics

WHAT HAPPENED? 'The Hammerheads,' a Union Berlin ultras group, have released a statement describing their experience in and around the Santiago Bernabeu on Tuesday after clashes took place between fans of the German outfit - who made their Champions League debut against Real Madrid - and the Spanish police, who they say were violent in their methods of crowd control.

WHAT THEY SAID: The full statement can be found on the group's website, but the highlights certainly don't make for good reading: "The Spanish police set their rules and had the ability to enforce them. It quickly became clear that she was familiar with the topic of 'glorification of violence.' The announcements came energetically in Spanish and immediately followed by the stick. Not to threaten, but to use it at head height in a cooperating crowd. In the course of all the measures, there was a completely surprising use of highly irritating pepper oil with no apparent aim, only to incapacitate as many people as possible. The cops then demonstrated their true power by pointing shotguns filled with rubber bullets in their front rows."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: To make things worse for those Union Berlin fans who had experienced such scenes outside of the ground, their hearts were broken as Jude Bellingham netted a 94th-minute winner for the hosts, snatching what would have been a famous point away from those travelling German fans.

Article continues below


Jude Bellingham scores winner for Real Madrid against Union BerlinGetty ImagesUnion Berlin Real Madrid Champions League 2023-24Getty

WHAT NEXT FOR UNION BERLIN? Those involved in the ugly scenes on Tuesday will want to send those events to the back of their mind and prepare for the visit of Hoffenheim in the Bundesliga on Saturday.