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32 Wales Football Fans Detained in Armenia Prior to Armenia vs. Wales Game in Yerevan

32 Wales Football Fans Detained in Armenia Prior to Armenia vs. Wales Game in Yerevan

More than 30 fans supporting the Wales football team have been detained in Armenia ahead of the European Championships qualifying game.

Around 1,200 supporters have gathered in Yerevan, the capital, for Saturday's match.

Confirming the arrests, the Football Association of Wales (FAW) reported that 32 fans were detained, with the Foreign Office also involved, according to BBC reports.

South Wales Police officers stationed in Yerevan stated that no measures had been taken against the detained fans yet, and efforts were underway to ascertain the details of the incident.

One supporter, Lefi Gruffudd, expressed shock and frustration after being detained with friends following an enjoyable evening in the city.

Another fan suggested that around 25 of them were lined up against a wall and taunted about facing six-month sentences.

"We were walking back to the hotel late last night when police cars approached us, took us into custody until 3:30 this afternoon," Gruffudd recounted. "They treated us poorly, no water, no explanations, leaving us angered and sleepless."

He added, "We were taken aback as we had enjoyed our time here. The atmosphere in the bars was great, so this was a huge shock for us."

"I heard they claimed there was a fight among Welsh fans, but we knew nothing about it. I doubt it even happened, but that's the reason they've given us," he further explained.

Many arrests reportedly occurred on Friday, with some individuals released by 15:00 local time (11:00 GMT) on Saturday, just before the 18:00 kick-off.

Another fan, Gerallt Dafydd, recounted being at a bar with friends before being approached aggressively by the police while waiting for a taxi.

"They handcuffed us, tossed us into a police car, and even inside, they were violent, striking me when I spoke. It was traumatic," described Dafydd.

He mentioned that around 25 fans were lined up against a wall while police took pictures and laughed, causing emotional distress among the group.

Dafydd believed officers were teasing them with sentences of six weeks or six months, emphasizing that the fans did nothing wrong.

The FAW stated they were in constant communication with the traveling police and Football Supporters' Association, monitoring the situation. Supt Steve Rees of South Wales Police in Armenia assured efforts to clarify the incident.

"We're working with local law enforcement. This behavior is unusual for Welsh fans who typically have a good reputation," said Rees.

The Foreign Office mentioned supporting families of Welsh fans and staying in touch with local authorities.

The high-stakes game ended in a 1-1 draw, dealing a blow to Armenia's aspirations for the final stage of the championship.


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