POLICE in Bruges have backtracked on their threat to arrest ticketless Newcastle United fans in the Belgian city.
And the local authorities say they will “welcome” thousands of supporters for next Thursday’s Europa League group game against Club Brugge.
A press release issued by local police today also revealed that Newcastle had their 1,470-seat allocation increased by 900 at their request.
However, many more fans are expected to travel to Bruges for the fixture.
Earlier this month, police threatened to arrest any supporters without tickets in the “vicinity” of the 29,472 Jan Breydel Stadium.
However, police now say they will only be “sent away”.
They issued the following advice for supporters making the journey to Belgium.
“A meeting point will be installed in the very centre of the town, on the Market Place on November 8, from noon till 6pm local time,” read a statement.
“Ticket holders will be informed in due course where and when they are expected to gather in order to be accompanied from the Market Place (local name Markt) to the stadium, some miles further uptown.
“Fans who do not have a ticket are not expected to go or be anywhere near the football stadium. When spotted in the vicinity of the stadium, they will be sent away.
“Tickets have to be bought beforehand. They cannot be bought the day of, nor the day preceding, the football game.”
Police add that the sale of tickets on the black market is illegal.
And fans are warned that they must carry proof of identity “at all times, and must be shown requested by a police officer.
Police will use the hashtags #CLUNEW and #politiebrugge on social networking site Twitter to keep United fans informed.