Manchester United fans arrested as rival groups clash at Bruges pub after Champions League victory over Club Brugge

25 United supporters were arrested near the Jan Breydelstadion with around 25 more arrested after colliding with a group of Club Brugge fans

Click to follow
The Independent Online

A number of Manchester United fans were arrested in Bruge on Wednesday night after rival fans clashed in the city centre during the Premier League club's 4-0 victory over Club Brugge.

The Daily Mail reports that a hooligan group of Brugge fans descended on the Charlie Rockets pub where a number of United supporters had gathered to watch the match on TV after travelling to Belgium without tickets, with around 15 Brugge fans and 25 United supporters arrested.

While the incident was one of very few reported, a further 25 United fans were arrested at the stadium earlier in the day, some of which for travelling without matchday tickets which remains a criminal offence in Belgium. 17 were arrested on suspicion of breaching the peace, while one fan was held after invading the pitch during the match before being apprehended by stewards inside the stadium.

 

Of the 25 arrested at Charlie Rockets pub, 23 were eventually released without charge while the remaining two were retained in custody after what was thought to have been an arranged meet with Brugge fans, some of whom were believed to be part of a hooligan 'firm'.

A police source told the Daily Mail: “Over two nights there was a really good atmosphere. It is a shame an isolated incident has overshadowed this.”

Bruges-fans.jpg
Club Brugge fans inside the Jan Breydelstadion

The incidents come after clashes last week between the two sets of fans at Old Trafford marred United’s 3-1 first-leg victory. Around 3,000 Brugge fans travelled to Manchester, but video footage showed a minority goading United supporters while they were held outside of the Hotel Football nearby the stadium shortly before kick-off.

Some fans were then seen running towards officers, with footage showing to being wrestled to the ground and nine arrested in total.

Plain clothed officers from Greater Manchester Police also travelled to Bruges for the match on Wednesday in a bid to identify any known and banned football hooligans and prevent them from attending the match.