Football: Braga players' boots stolen from Marseille stadium before Europa league match

MARSEILLE (AFP) - Thieves stole the boots of Sporting Braga players from their changing room as they prepared for their Europa League match at Olympique Marseille, police said.

Marseille had to buy 46 pairs of new boots and even offered to charter a special flight to bring footwear from Portugal after the disappearance.

The Portuguese outfit left their boots in their dressing room at Marseille's Stade Velodrome stadium after training there on Wednesday night. On Thursday there was no trace of the studded footwear.

"There is nothing which allows us to contradict the Portuguese officials' version of events," a police spokesman said on Friday.

The match went ahead with the French team triumphing 1-0.

Some of the Braga team used the reserve pairs of boots which they had brought with them and kept at their hotel. Others had to use the new boots bought by Marseille.

"I find this incredible. No door had been forced, how did the boots disappear," said Braga's president Antonio Salvador Rodrigues.

Braga have registered an official complaint with the police, who said an investigation is ongoing.