Football violence leads to 130 arrests

Nearly 130 football supporters were arrested during the Stockholm derby match between arch-rivals Hammarby and Djurgården on Tuesday evening. Some 110 supporters were kept in cells overnight, suspected of rioting and vandalism.

The violence started in Östermalms Torg in central Stockholm. Hammarby supporters turned up to the square in a genteel part of town a couple of hours before the match. The square is a traditional meeting point for Djurgården fans.

“The area to which they turned up has been subjected to vandalism,” said police spokeswoman Towe Hägg.

Large numbers of police were deployed to keep the two sides apart.

Djurgården fans were kept inside The Londoner pub against their will.

“Police have locked a large number of Djurgården fans here in the restaurant – I don’t dare go out; I’m staying in the kitchen,” one staff member at the pub told news agency TT at the height of the disturbances.

Three windows at the pub were broken, as was a large number of glasses. But the pub’s manager blamed the police, rather than supporters, for the incidents.

“There has never been violence before. This would never have happened if the police had not tried to keep them in,” he said.

Police told the supporters that they could go to the stadium if accompanied by police along a special route. The fans refused, and police decided therefore to keep them in the pub.

“We didn’t want them to come out and start fighting the Hammarby fans,” said Diana Sundin of Stockholm Police.

Those fans who were arrested were taken to various police stations in the Stockholm area. Prosecutors decided to keep 110 of them in detention, according to police.