Thursday, November 23, 2017

Rioting in Brussels, more than 200 fans arrested

More than 200 German football hooligans have been arrested after clashing with police during rioting in Brussels in the wake of Germany’s 1-0 win over Belgium in a Euro 2012 qualifier.

In total, 209 arrests were made throughout the course of Friday night and the main area of trouble was in downtown Brussels where fans without tickets clashed with police before and during the game.

After being detained, many were later released throughout the course of the evening.

“The police cracked down hard and consistently,” said German Football Federation (DFB) general secretary Wolfgang Niersbach on Saturday.

According to DFB sources, 700 fans travelled to Brussels for the Euro 2012 qualifier intent on causing trouble.

Throughout Friday in the build up to the game, German police carried out checks at the Belgium border, prevented 42 fans from travelling and made two arrests for inciting violence and a breach of the Explosives Act.

Several weapons were confiscated.

Although the official allocation of tickets for the game was just 2,500, the DFB estimate there were around 9,000 German fans in the 50,000-capacity stadium with the majority having bought their tickets on open sale in Belgium.

Niersbach said he had complained to European football’s governing body UEFA before the game as some 6,500 tickets had been sold freely to German fans.

A single goal by Bayern Munich striker Miroslav Klose sealed the win in the opening Euro 2012 qualifier and Germany will face Azerbaijan in Cologne on Tuesday while Belgium play Turkey in Istanbul the same day.

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