Friday 18 August 2017

Soccer steward attacked by own 'fans'

Mark Hilliard

UP to 30 soccer hooligans clashed with gardai at an FAI Cup tie over the weekend after Bohemians football club sent stewards to identify its own black-listed fans.

Gardai were forced to use pepper spray in a bid to contain the group of agitators who were said to be intoxicated and intent on violence.

A spokesman for Bohemians said that one of its own stewards was set upon by supporters.

No arrests were made at the Flancare Park ground in Longford on Saturday night although a Garda investigation is ongoing after one person was brought to hospital with minor injuries.

A file will be forwarded to the Director of Public Prosecutions.

"I know it sounds bonkers to say that a Bohemians steward would be attacked by people purporting to be Bohemians fans but that seems to be what happened," said the club spokesman.

Tooth

The steward in question lost a tooth in the incident.

The hooligans behind Saturday's violent outburst belong to a group known as the Bohemians 'Casuals' -- a hardcore base of fans, generally intent on causing trouble.

Before the fixture, the Football Association of Ireland had contacted Bohemians with information that a number of its fans, forbidden from attending club games, were travelling to the fixture.

In response, Bohemians dispatched their own stewards to assist gardai and security.

When a number of fans were prevented from entering the ground, at least a dozen more who were already inside came back out to involve themselves in the brawl.

Gardai were forced to use pepper spray to disperse those involved. The fixture, which Bohemians won 3-1, did not experience any delays as a result.

Irish Independent

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