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HOOLIGANS

Police detain hooligans after Stockholm clash

Several clashes between supporters of Stockholm football team AIK and Polish team Lech Poznan were reported on Thursday evening in the capital after the Swedish side beat the Poles 3-0 in a European league qualifier.

The brawling had already begun before the game with clashes between supporters in the Stockholm district of Kungsholmen, and continued at the Råsunda stadium where the game took place, according to police.

Police told news agency TT that they didn’t have enough manpower to start with.

“We had too small a number of officers at the beginning but it turned out alright after we called in an extra 50 or so,” said Per Wetterlind of the Stockholm police to TT.

After the game, the brawling continued to flare up in different parts of central Stockholm.

After twelve hours of clashes in the capital, the police finally had enough, rounded up some 50 Polish supporters and dropped them in the Stockholm suburb of Huddinge in the hope to cool the situation down.

“It is fairly obvious that all these people really were keen to fight,” said Anders Jönsson of the local police to daily Dagens Nyheter (DN) stressing that both sides were equally as bad.

According to police, several people were injured in the brawling, a handful were arrested on suspicion of rioting and aggravated assault and some 30 were taken into custody.

TT/The Local/rm

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FOOTBALL

Fights, riots and smoke bombs mar Swedish football derby

Sunday’s football derby between Stockholm area clubs AIK and Hammarby devolved into minor chaos, according to police.

Fights, riots and smoke bombs mar Swedish football derby
AIK fans light flares during Sunday's match. Photo: Sören Andersson/TT
The restaurant area surrounding Friends Arena saw at least one violent attack, three mini-riots and a number of smoke bomb attacks. 
 
Following the match in Solna, which AIK won 2-0, one fan was severely beaten in an attack that left him unconscious. According to the police report, the incident occurred outside of a restaurant in the Råsunda area and the male victim had to be transported by ambulance to the hospital. The victim is in his mid-40s and suffered “serious injuries”, police said. 
 
Police also responded to reports that unruly fans threw smoke bombs into one or more restaurants, and officers additionally had to contend with “three violent riots and numerous fights”. Some football fans also reportedly threw rocks at the police. 
 
 
The police report said that two people were arrested on riot charges, but no arrests had been made for the violent attack on the 40-something male victim or an unspecified separate attack that caused another victim to be transported to hospital. 
 
Violence and riots are not uncommon at Swedish football matches, especially when rivals like AIK and Hammarby face off. An August 2017 match between AIK and Djurgården, another bitter Stockholm area rival, was marred by violent clashes before the action even got underway and ultimately ended with 171 people being held in temporary police custody. 
 
In another incident, an October 2016 derby between Djurgården and Hammarby was suspended and six people were arrested for rioting after supporters threw flares and projectiles at security personnel then climbed the barricades. The referee removed players from the pitch and suspended the game for almost 30 minutes while police worked to end the confrontation.
 
Scuffles even broke out between supporters of the same teams during an U21 match earlier that year. A month later, Sweden legend Henrik Larsson and his son were targeted by angry fans following a Helsingborg match, after which Zlatan Ibrahimovic recommended violent fans should “step inside an Octagon cage and settle it there” instead.
 
 
In 2014, football violence hit a shocking new level when a 44-year-old male Djurgården fan died from head injuries he suffered during a mass brawl between Djurgården and Helsingborgs IF. Hooligans have also attacked players and referees on the pitch, caused fires to break out in the stands and turned their ire on police.
 
In an effort to try to cut down on the problems the Swedish government has brought in a ban on wearing masks at stadiums.
 
 
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