One man died and at least 10 people were wounded in clashes between hundreds of football fans in Vietnam, state media reported Tuesday, in the most serious in a spate of similar incidents.
The violence erupted in the central city of Vinh on Sunday after a 1-1 draw between local V-League team Song Lam Nghe An (SLNA) and visitors Haiphong Cement, a team from Vietnam's largest northern port city.
Fighting broke out after Haiphong scored an equaliser three minutes from time, which the 600 visiting Haiphong fans noisily celebrated with firecrackers, reported the state-run Vietnam News daily.
The hooligans then started to hurl bricks and bottles at each other.
“The brawl quickly turned into a huge battle, with most fans involved using bricks, sticks and whatever else was lying around to fight against each other,” said the newspaper.
The Haiphong fans, heavily outnumbered, were escorted from the stadium after about 90 minutes under police guard, and placed onto their fleet of buses, reported another newspaper, the Thanh Nien daily.
As the buses, many with broken windows, sped out of town, one hit a fan of the home team, 23-year-old Ha Huy Thanh, who was then run over by a second vehicle and pronounced dead at a local hospital, the report said.
“This could be one of the saddest and most shameful moments in our football history,” the head of the V-League organising board, Duong Nghiep Khoi, was quoted as saying by the Vietnam News.
Police, heavily outnumbered during the melee, made no arrests but were this week reviewing video footage to look for ring leaders, state media said.
Vinh Stadium was also rocked by violence that left 10 people wounded in mid-April when local supporters clashed with fans of Hanoi-based The Cong following a 2-2 draw and pelted their fleeing bus with bricks and bottles.
Haiphong and SLNA fans also clashed in February with each other and with police at a neutral venue in northern Nam Dinh province.
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