Group condemns ‘humiliating searches’ by Barcelona security

The director of a group that advocates for female sports fans says she and other Paris Saint-Germain supporters were subjected to “abusive” searches while entering Barcelona‘s stadium for a Champions League match earlier this week.

Anoush Morel, the director of Her Game Too France, told L’Equipe and RMC Sport that her breasts, buttocks and groin were touched by a female security officer during a pat-down at the Lluís Companys Olympic Stadium on Tuesday night. Other women reported similarly aggressive searches, she said.

Paris Saint-Germain won the match 4-1 and advanced to the Champions League semifinals where they will play Borussia Dortmund.

In a letter Thursday, the organization condemned the practice and called on “relevant authorities” to take action.

“It’s unacceptable that spectators, fans and women in general were particularly targeted by these intrusive and humiliating searches that constitute sexual aggression,” the letter read.

The group said there have been similar complaints at other stadiums in Europe, usually impacting visiting fans. It called on teams, organizers of the games and stadiums to ensure their security protocols avoid the “unfair treatment” of supporters.

It asks UEFA to provide answers on whether visiting fans in particular are being subjected to more aggressive searches.

A request for comment from UEFA sent on Thursday evening was not immediately answered.

Earlier on Thursday, Barcelona were fined €25,000 ($26,600) by UEFA for Nazi salutes and racist gestures by fans at the Champions League first leg at Parc des Princes on April 10.

Information from The Associated Press was used in this story.