Two Chelsea fans injured in Istanbul fight: Club
ISTANBULChelsea on Wednesday confirmed that two of their supporters were attacked in Istanbul on the eve of the English club's Champions League last 16, first leg against Galatasaray.
"Chelsea Football Club is aware of two incidents involving fans in the city last night. The club is working with all relevant agencies, including the police and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, to best ensure the safety of all supporters," read a statement on their website.
The confirmation comes after it was reported on Tuesday that two supporters of the London side were stabbed following trouble around Taksim Square, in the heart of the city, as fans gathered for Wednesday's match at the Turk Telecom Arena.
One Blues supporter claims to have been stabbed while another was kicked in the head in a bar fight in Taksim, central Istanbul, according to the English press. The fans’ injuries were not serious and did not require hospitalization, it was added.
The Istanbul Police Department, however, did not confirm such an attack took place. Galatasaray did not comment on the issue.
A UK Foreign Office spokesman told AFP on Wednesday morning that they had received no confirmation of any incidents but were "looking into reports".
The two clubs will play their Champions League first-leg game in Istanbul’s Türk Telekom Arena on the night of Feb. 26. Around 800 visiting supporters are expected at the game.
In 2000, two Leeds United fans, Kevin Speight and Christopher Loftus, were stabbed to death before a UEFA Cup semifinal first-leg game in Istanbul against Galatasaray.