July 12th, 2024

Riot police in Germany intervene to stem fan clashes before Serbia-England match at Euro 2024

By The Associated Press on June 16, 2024.

England soccer fans cheer in front of police ahead the Group C match between Serbia and England at the Euro 2024 soccer tournament in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, Sunday, June 16, 2024. (AP Photo/Markus Schreiber)

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) – Riot police in Germany intervened to stop brawling soccer fans before Sunday’s match between Serbia and England at the European Championship soccer tournament in Germany.

Social media footage showed men throwing chairs at each other outside a restaurant festooned with Serbian flags in the western city of Gelsenkirchen. One group quickly left the scene as riot officers arrived and wrestled at least one man to the ground.

A Serbian fan told The Associated Press that a group of people had thrown glasses and stones outside a downtown bar where he and others were sitting together drinking beer.

“There was a clash and we are fine. So that’s it, we are going to the game, we hope we will win. This is about football,” said the man, who identified himself only as Vladimir and said he was from the Serbian capital, Belgrade.

It wasn’t immediately clear whether England fans were involved in the clash or if anyone was injured. Police couldn’t be immediately reached for comment.

Reporters who arrived shortly after the fighting found the street littered with broken glass and tables as several dozen police officers stood by.

The Euro 2024 match on Sunday evening between Serbia and England has been classified as high risk by police over concerns about potential fan violence. Both sets of supporters have a reputation for causing trouble before and during matches.

About 20,000 England fans and 10,000 from Serbia were expected to converge on the city for the game. Only low-alcohol beer is being served in the Gelsenkirchen stadium in an attempt to reduce the potential for problems.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

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