Czech Republic vs England: One football fan injured and 31 people detained for ‘rioting’ in Prague

The authorities said they used force to detain a number of what they called ‘football hooligans’, including 14 foreign nationals

Friday 11 October 2019 22:21
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At least one England fan has been injured as several were detained following violent clashes with police in Prague.

Three Lions supporters hurled bottles, while local police in full riot gear returned fire with stun grenades.

A pool of blood was left on the cobbled street where one man was pinned to the ground.

He was seen receiving treatment in the back of an ambulance, while others were marched one by one with hands behind their backs into a police van.

Czech Police later confirmed there had been a total of 31 arrests, including 14 “foreigners”.

The ugly scenes erupted just before 7pm local time after a day of drinking for supporters who had descended on the city ahead of their team’s Euro 2020 qualifier against the Czech Republic.

Hundreds of fans took over a small square in the city’s Old Town, chanting and singing.

Until night fell, there had been little trouble, with police involvement limited to telling fans to remove flags from buildings.

But as bottles were pelted at officers, a recorded warning was played in English warning them to “obey the law” and that face coverings and pyrotechnics are illegal.

Czech police have detained 31 people

Czech police then advanced, firing stun grenades as English fans were forced back through a small archway as missiles continued to be thrown.

About 10 men were pinned into a corner and made to lie face down, while another was seen being held on the floor nearby as officers secured the scene.

Almost 3,800 Three Lions fans bought tickets for Friday night’s clash, although more are believed to have travelled.

The late kick-off time of 8.45pm and the city’s party reputation led to fears of a repeat of ugly scenes witnessed on recent trips to Amsterdam, Dortmund and Porto.

At least one England fan was injured

The fixture also coincided with a national day of mourning for the country’s most famous singer, Karel Gott, who died last week, and travelling fans have been told to be respectful of mourners.

Ahead of the game, the Football Association asked supporters to “report that idiot” if they see anti-social behaviour, while police urged those going to the game to not “embarrass themselves”.

Deputy chief constable Mark Roberts, the National Police Chiefs’ Council’s football policing lead, said: “Prague’s a beautiful city. Go, enjoy it, it’s an absolutely fantastic place. We’ve got a team that’s worth supporting and celebrating so there’s plenty of things to go and enjoy.

“Just don’t embarrass yourself or anyone else by drinking to excess and behaving in a way where you will see yourself on film or in print the next day.”

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