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SBD Global/August 22, 2017/Franchises

Grimsby Town Fans Forced To Show Bras During Security Searches At Stevenage

Female football fans were left "shocked and stunned" when they were made to show their bras during security searches at League Two side Stevenage, a supporters' group said, according to Josh Halliday of the London GUARDIAN. At least 10 Grimsby Town supporters "had their bras checked by stewards" before the clubs met on Saturday, according to Grimsby Town fan group the Mariners Trust. A 70-year-old woman was among those left "mortified" by the searches outside Stevenage's Lamex Stadium. The English Football League said on Monday that "it was looking into the allegations." A spokesperson for Stevenage added that the club "was conducting an investigation" (GUARDIAN, 8/21). In London, Ben Rumsby reported an open letter sent to Stevenage by the Mariners Trust also accused stewards of asking to feel the underwiring of any bras during the searches. The letter said, "Several female supporters were asked to lift their tops up to show their bras to female stewards upon entry to the Lamex Stadium. This decision -- in the queue in front of other supporters, including men and male stewards -- is a gross invasion of privacy." The letter also claimed full body searches were carried out on children as young as five, with stewards branded "antagonistic" (TELEGRAPH, 8/21). The BBC reported the letter also said that a female steward was posted inside a male restroom, adding, "The steward was asked to leave by Grimsby Town supporters, but she refused despite the fact several male stewards and police officers were stood outside." The Mariners Trust described the treatment of supporters as "amongst the worst our fans have experienced in decades of travelling across the world to watch football." Hertfordshire Police said that it had not been contacted by supporters, but any complaints would be "fully investigated" (BBC, 8/21).
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