Violence at Eng-Turkey Sunderland game

Updated: 25 February 2007 08:48 IST

Police arrested more than 90 soccer fans who clashed with each other around yesterday's critical Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey.

Violence at Eng-Turkey Sunderland game

Sunderland:

Police arrested more than 90 soccer fans who clashed with each other around yesterday's critical Euro 2004 qualifier against Turkey. The problem seemed to be primarily on English-on-English violence with most of the arrests reported to be fans of northern English clubs Newcastle, Sunderland and Leeds. Three people, including two police officers, were injured, police said. No Turkish fans were arrested or injured. Hooligans pelted police with bottles and other objects including bar stools moments before the game. Police struck back with batons and police dogs. Police, who promised "zero tolerance", swarmed the area a few hundred yards (metres) from the 48,000-seat stadium. In a separate incident, mounted police charged a group of England fans who were attacking buses carrying Turkish supporters. About 5,000 Turkish fans attended the match. Police were concerned before the game about possible run-ins between Turkish and English fans, and rival Turks and Kurds. On the pitch tempers flared in England's 2-0 victory. On a penalty called near the end of the match, Turkish players argued and jostled with English players and coaches as they left the field at the Stadium of Light. According to TV reports, members of the England coaching team traded blows with Turkish defender Alpay Ozalan as the teams left the field. England head coach, Sven-Goran Eriksson dismissed the incident. "I don't know exactly what happened but I don't make anything of that," he said. "It happens in football." Sunderland police canceled all leave, with 4,000 police officers on duty. Three hundred police were assigned to the ground with 400 deployed in the city's downtown. Sunderland police Superintendent Jim Campbell said English hooligans could use the match as revenge for the stabbing deaths of two Leeds United fans before a UEFA Cup match against Galatasaray in Istanbul nearly three years ago. Last Saturday, five English soccer fans were injured and 25 people arrested in Zurich during clashes with Swiss police ahead of England's 2-0 Euro 2004 qualifier win over Liechtenstein. Three were shot and another stabbed. (AP)



Topics : Football
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