The videos of the brutal fight between England and Serbia fans before the start of the match

The videos of the brutal fight between England and Serbia fans before the start of the match
The videos of the brutal fight between England and Serbia fans before the start of the match

The German police knew that radical fans from both countries could clash in the run-up to the match.

The match between England and Serbia, corresponding to the first date of Euro 2024, began at nine at night at the Veltins-Arena, in Gelsenkirchen, where Schalke 04 of Bundesliga 2 is home. complete of more than sixty thousand people. But not all fans were able to enter the stadium: hours before the continental competition began for both teams, since Sunday afternoon there were disturbances around the stadium between fans of both countries.

The German security forces were warned: they knew that the most radical groups from Serbia and England would attend Gelsenkirchen to witness the debut of their teams in the European nations competition. The feared scenes of violence finally occurred. The situation boiled over when two violent groups were identified in the afternoon. It happened in the urban area of ​​the city, which had been conquered by fans from both countries.

The images quickly spread on social networks. In all the videos, the brutality, the overflow, the police inaction and how there are those who prefer to remain oblivious to the confrontation are evident. A video shows running, punches, thrown chairs and broken glass in front of the “Hirt” steakhouse in the old town of the Ruhr region city. Whoever films the altercation on that shopping street says: “It’s the Serbs.” But, an official spokesperson told the agency AFPthe reasons for what happened are not clear.

Before the match between England and Serbia began in Gelsenkirchen, fans from both countries rioted in the streets (REUTERS/Thilo Schmuelgen)

“There was a sudden explosion. He came from nowhere. It was unclear who started what. But it seemed to me that a group of fans rushed towards the bar where the Serbs were drinking and it all started with tables, chairs and bottles thrown,” a fan testified in conversation with the English media. Daily Mail. The witness also identified that there were several wounded and that the confrontation left traces of blood in the area. It is presumed that the riots began around three in the afternoon, when the confrontation broke out between Englishmen who threw bottles and stones against Serbs who responded with chairs, glasses and whatever they had at hand.

The local police had to intervene when they had a large group of law enforcement officers. A journalist from AFP He noted the presence of broken glass after the incident and a group of Serbian fans accompanied by police officers. According to the news agency, the German police announced the arrest of seven Serbian fans involved in the confrontations that occurred with English fans hours before the start of the match. One of those arrested faces a criminal complaint for injuries.

The German police knew that radical fans from both countries could clash in the run-up to the match.

For its part, the United Kingdom Football Policing Unit issued a statement saying that “a series of arrests” had been made, without detailing that those arrested are actually fans from Serbia. And in order to avoid new confrontations, the German police ended up accompanying a group of Serbian hooligans to the train station so that they could arrive at the Schalke stadium under supervision.

The authorities estimate that about twenty English fans and about ten thousand Serbian fans They came to the German city to watch the game. In fact, knowing of potential confrontations, the police presence increased drastically and was greater than when the local team faces its classic rival, Borussia Dortmund. Even only low-alcohol beer is served at the Gelsenkirchen stadium in an attempt to reduce the possibility of problems.

It is not the first case of violence that happens at the Euro Cup. In Hamburg, a man threatened with a small ax and an incendiary object on the busy tourist street of Reeperbahn to a group of fans in advance of the duel between the Netherlands and Poland. The police tried to control the aggressor, asked him to leave the weapon on the ground and when he refused, they shot him. In a statement, local police said the attacker is injured and receiving medical treatment. Security sources had previously informed the newspaper Bild that the individual is a 39-year-old German, originally from Buchholz, in the state of Lower Saxony, and has schizophrenia problems.

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