German police intervene to stem clashes between England and Serbia fans ahead of Euro 2024 match | iNFOnews | Thompson-Okanagan's News Source

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German police intervene to stem clashes between England and Serbia fans ahead of Euro 2024 match

England soccer fan cheers in front of police line 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)
Original Publication Date June 16, 2024 - 8:46 AM

GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany (AP) — Police rushed to separate brawling fans of the England and Serbia soccer teams on Sunday ahead of their match at the European Championships 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 beat a hasty retreat as riot police 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 at the area outside the restaurant 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.

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

A spokesman for Gelsenkirchen police said the officers had separated a group of England fans from a group of Serbian fans and brought the situation under control. The spokesman, who commented on condition of anonymity in line with police policy, said he had no information on injuries or arrests.

The match on Sunday evening between England and Serbia has been tagged 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.


Associated Press writer Stephen Douglas contributed from Berlin.


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