Soccer fans clash with police at Belgrade match

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ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION) STORY: Soccer fans in Serbia ripped apart hundreds of stadium seats and clashed with police on Saturday (April 25) before a Belgrade match, resulting in injuries and

Soccer fans clash with police at Belgrade match

ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION)

STORY: Soccer fans in Serbia ripped apart hundreds of stadium seats and clashed with police on Saturday (April 25) before a Belgrade match, resulting in injuries and arrests.

The Serbian Interior Ministry said in a statement that “hooligan behaviour” injured 35 police officers and led to the arrest of 41 fans, in a violent Belgrade derby between Red Star and Partizan.

“Police reacted professionally and efficiently, quelling a conflict started by fans which could have led to calling the game off and other serious consequences,” the statement said.

The start of the game, which has a long history of crowd trouble, was delayed for 45 minutes after home Red Star fans pelted riot police with seats and flares, forcing officers to retreat from the north tier that houses the club’s diehard fans.

When reinforcements arrived the police returned to the terraces and pushed the supporters back.

One area of the north tier was emptied and the match finally got underway.

Most of the fireworks were confined to the terraces where both sets of fans lit dozens of flares and hurled several stun grenades on to the athletics track, keeping fire officers busy as they dashed around with buckets of water.

Play was again held up for several minutes midway through the second half for clouds of billowing smoke to clear after visiting supporters set off fireworks on a warm evening in central Belgrade.

Tags : match, Belgrade, police, with, clash, fans, soccer

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