Real Sociedad president accuses Zenit staff of helping smuggle flares to ultras
Real Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay was speaking at the Basque club's annual shareholders meeting and commented on incidents at Anoeta last week.
Real Sociedad president Jokin Aperribay has directly accused backroom staff of Russian side Zenit Saint Petersburg in helping filter pyrotechnic material to the club's ultras at last week's Europa League tie in Anoeta.
Late in the second half a barrage of flares were hurled towards the pitch from the sector where the visiting Zenit fans were located.
Aperribay, speaking at the shareholders meeting in San Sebastian stated: “What happened last Thursday was a disgrace. For this game there were 140 local police on duty when normally there are 80 and 180 members of security when normally 104 are employed. Each Russian fan was searched extensively upon being admitted to the stadium and we strongly suspect that backroom staff from the Zenit delegation (who are not searched) were instrumental in getting the pyrotechnic material to the ultras. We've voiced this view to UEFA's Disciplinary committee and hope they act accordingly against the Russian side".
Speaking later after the meeting, the president spoke on the matter with less emotive language claiming that he statement was not an open accusation but a suspicion, adding "We employed an extensive search process to specifically ensure that this type of material was not bought into the ground". He later added that if normal procedure from UEFA was adhered to, then it would be the LaLiga club who would suffer the fine adding that his suspicion is that staff from the Russian club are not searched when travelling with the side were involved in passing the flares to the travelling supporters section". Aperribay concluded that he has conveyed his sensations in writing directly to UEFA.