Fan violence

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Liverpool releases statement after Sevilla stadium supporter outcry

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Liverpool has proffered a strong and cautionary statement regarding its supporters’ treatment at Sevilla on Tuesday.

Claims of police punching a woman in the back and throwing her “political” flag at her, a Liverbird with the word “Defiance” on it, are just the tip of the iceberg.

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Fans claim that many were either delayed or denied in entry to the stadium, with “police in riot gear not letting you get to your seat” in some cases.

The Reds have released a statement, from LiverpoolFC.com:

Following detailed and troubling accounts given by Liverpool supporters attending the match against Sevilla last night, the club is seeking to establish the facts regarding their treatment at the hands of the host stewards and local police force.
The safety and security of our supporters is our paramount concern and we intend to gather all the relevant information before responding further.

Supporter treatment away from home is deservedly a hot button issue, and especially at Liverpool given the horrible Hillsborough disaster that killed 96 and wounded almost 800 more in 1989.

As for the match, the Reds squandered a 3-0 lead at Ramón Sánchez Pizjuán Stadium, drawing 3-3.

Three seriously injured, 120 detained in Bruges hooligan riot

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BRUSSELS (AP) Authorities are investigating a hooligan riot which seriously injured three people and forced Brugge police to detain 120 following the match between Club Brugge and Antwerp.

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Local police chief Dirk Van Nuffel says one policeman was among the seriously wounded as authorities sought to contain a brawl between Belgian fans reinforced by others who had come from the Netherlands.

By Monday morning all were released but investigators were still seeking to see who was at the core of the fighting. Van Nuffel says such hooligan fighting “hadn’t been seen for years.”

1860 Munich relegated to 3rd division amid fan trouble

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MUNICH (AP) Former Bundesliga champion 1860 Munich was relegated from Germany’s second division on Tuesday in a game that was held up for 15 minutes toward the end because of violence from its angry fans.

1860 lost the second leg of its relegation/promotion playoff 2-0 at home to Bavarian rival Jahn Regensburg, a team that finished third in the third division and secured second-tier football at the Munich-based club’s expense with a 3-1 win on aggregate.

Jahn gained promotion at the first attempt, one season after promotion from the fourth tier.

Kolja Pusch and Marc Lais scored the goals in the first half for Jahn, but the game was overshadowed by the scenes that unfolded 10 minutes before full-time, when 1860 fans began throwing objects including seats onto the pitch and riot police lined up to prevent the situation escalating.

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“We’re fed up,” the home side’s fans shouted.

Play was suspended for some 15 minutes, though more objects were thrown onto the pitch after it resumed.

1860, which won the Bundesliga in 1966 and had played in the top flight as recently as 2004, returned to the third level for the first time in 24 years.

The club is backed by Jordanian investor Hasan Abdullah Ismaik, who hired former Porto coach Vitor Pereira last December and promised to lead the side to the top levels of European football.

Only Stuttgart and Hannover, which both secured their return to the Bundesliga, had squads that cost more than 1860’s in the second division.

Two Russian soccer fans stabbed in Serbia

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BELGRADE, Serbia (AP) Two Russian fans have been hospitalized with serious injuries after being stabbed following a friendly soccer match between Red Star Belgrade and Lokomotiv Moscow.

Serbian Interior Minister Nebojsa Stefanovic said Sunday police were looking for the knife-wielding perpetrators who attacked a group of Lokomotiv fans in downtown Belgrade late Saturday.

Serbian media reports said the Russian fans were attacked by supporters of Red Star’s rival Partizan Belgrade.

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The match, which Red Star won 2-1, was meant to promote Serbia’s traditional friendship with Russia.

Stefanovic says “nobody should think they could hurt the Serbian-Russian friendship” with such attacks.

Serbia has seen a surge of fan violence inside and outside stadiums. In 2009, a French football fan was fatally beaten in Belgrade.

Fan stabbed in Spain ahead of Sevilla-Juventus match

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MADRID (AP) A man was stabbed during an altercation between fans ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League match between Sevilla and Juventus, Spanish authorities said.

Seville police said the unidentified man was injured during a confrontation at a bar near the city center and hospitalized.

The man was in stable condition and his injuries were not life threatening.

At least two other people sustained minor injuries in the violence late Monday.

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Authorities said the fighting began after a group of Sevilla fans attacked the Juventus supporters in the southern Spanish city. Police had to intervene to end the altercation. No arrests were immediately made.

Witnesses told Spanish media that less than 10 Juventus supporters were inside the bar when a large group of Sevilla fans started throwing rocks and other objects toward them. Some made it inside the establishment and the fighting ensued.

Sevilla released a statement lamenting the violence involving “alleged” Sevilla supporters. It said it has asked authorities to provide information about the suspects to see if any of them are club members.

Sevilla President Jose Castro said the violence hurt the club’s image.

“Sevilla has worked hard over the years to become a respected club because of its successes on the field,” Castro said. “We should be here talking about football, about being part of the elite in the Champions League. It’s a shame to be here talking about anything else other than the team’s chances of making it to the last 16.”

Sevilla, the Europa League champion the last three years, needs at least a draw against Juventus to secure a spot in the knockout stages of the Champions League for the first time since 2010.

More than 800 security personnel are expected to work Tuesday’s game at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium in Seville.