Man dies as soccer fans clash

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A MAN died after fighting broke out between rival football supporters at the end of a league match in Gillingham yesterday. The man, in his mid-20s, is believed to have been a supporter of the visiting Fulham team.

Detective Superintendent John Hann said that the incident in Priestfield Road, outside Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium in Kent, was being treated as a murder inquiry.

Mr Hann said: "It appears a fight took place between Gillingham and Fulham fans, as a result of which this man has died. This involved between 40 and 50 fans." A man was later arrested. First reports said the victim had been stabbed, but Mr Hann could not confirm whether he died of a stab wound or a head injury. An ambulance service spokesman said other injured fans were taken to hospital.

Supporters at the game said later that there had been bad blood between the two sides' fans after a tempestuous match in 1995 in which 10 players were booked and two sent off.

n Barnsley are set to face an FA inquiry into their stormy Premiership defeat by Liverpool at Oakwell which was marred by two pitch invasions. The referee had to be led off the pitch in the second half for his protection.