5 Times European Football Fans Turned Hooligans

The Quint takes a look at the five times football fans in Europe turned into hooligans.

Updated07 Feb 2017, 11:41 AM IST
3 min read

The European Championship 2016 has been in the news more for the action off the field than on the field. In the first ten days of the tournament, several clashes have taken place between fans of different countries.

Russia and England fans fought with each other ahead of the group game between the two nations on 12 June. The week after, fans from the two countries clashed again in Lille.

The Croatia-Czech Republic group match had to be halted because Croatian fans were throwing flares on the field and fighting among themselves.

This is not the first time that football fans have turned hooligans; it has happened for several years now.

The Quint takes a look at some instances in the past when European football fans turned hooligans.

1. England vs Tunisia, World Cup 1998

Ahead of the World Cup match between England and Tunisia in 1998, fans from both the countries threw bottles and cans at each other as they made their way towards the stadium. The police intervened and had to resort to using tear gas to contain the situation.

Once the match was underway, a brutal fight between the fans of both countries broke out on the Prado beach, a mile away from the stadium.

After Alan Shearer put England in the lead, English fans allegedly taunted the Tunisian fans, which instigated the fight. The fans were watching the game on the big screen together on the beach.

The people on the beach threw bottles, cans, rocks and plastic seats at each other until the police had to intervene again and make arrests.

Around 50 people were arrested in the incident and several were injured.

2. Liverpool vs Juventus, European Cup Final, 1985

The Heysel Stadium disaster is one of the worst in the history of football. Ahead of the European Cup Final match between Liverpool and Juventus in Brussels, Belgium, 39 people died and 600 fans were injured after a wall collapsed on them.

Around one hour before kick-off, a group of Liverpool fans crossed a fence in the stadium and chased Juventus fans. While trying to run away, the latter eventually were stopped by a wall. As more fans ran towards it, it collapsed, injuring and killing several fans.

Juventus won the match 1-0.

Later, UEFA banned all English clubs from the European competition for five years.

3. Arsenal vs Galatasaray, UEFA Cup Final, 2000

Ahead of the UEFA Cup final between Arsenal and Galatasaray in 2000, four people were stabbed, eleven injured and 54 arrested on the day of the final, when fans from both the sides fought brutally at the City Hall Square in Copenhagen, Denmark.

In the afternoon of the day of the final, Galatasaray fans stood outside a bar and started taunting Arsenal fans, who were seated inside. The riot police jumped in and took the Galatasaray fans to another side of the square.

Around 500 Arsenal fans carried out a surprise attack on the Galatasaray fans and supporters of both the sides started throwing at each other anything they could get their hands on. They hurled chairs, tables, metal poles and other weapons. Some people carried knives and clubs.

After 20 minutes of mayhem, the Danish police managed to put an end to the fight.

4. Tottenham vs Feyenoord, UEFA Cup Final, 1974

The Tottenham Hotspur fans’ worst side was on display during the second leg of the UEFA Cup final in Rotterdam, Netherlands in 1974.

After Feyenoord took control of the match in the first half, Spurs fans got agitated. They were also upset about a Tottenham goal being disallowed.

In anger, they attacked Feyenoord fans in the stands during half-time. They threw bottles and broken seats at their counterparts. Feyenoord fans retaliated and a major scuffle broke out. Eventually, the Dutch police stopped the ruckus.

You hooligans are a disgrace to Tottenham Hotspur and a disgrace to England. This is a football game – not a war.
Bill Nicholson, Manager of Tottenham Hotspur in 1974

5. Liverpool vs Sevilla, Europa League Final, 2016

Even today, fans of two sides cannot be expected to be seated in the same area in peace. Ahead of the Europa League final between Liverpool and Sevilla in Basel, Switzerland earlier this year, a scuffle broke out between the fans of the two clubs in the stands behind one of the goals.

Around 20 or 30 fans of both the sides were sitting together in a particular stand and began fighting each other.

The riot police intervened and diffused the situation. The match was played without any trouble.

We'll get through this! Meanwhile, here's all you need to know about the Coronavirus outbreak to keep yourself safe, informed, and updated.

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Published: 22 Jun 2016, 02:00 PM IST

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