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Crackdown as hooligans clash on streets

FOOTBALL hooligans clashed with opposing fans and police before and during Poland's game against Russia last night, leaving 15 injured while more than 140 were detained.

Following scattered fighting in Warsaw before the match, police fired rubber bullets at a group of fans who attacked them with bottles and stones near an outdoor fan zone where about 75,000 people were watching the game.

About 5,000 Russian fans marched to the match at the National Stadium to celebrate the Russia Day national holiday.

It was seen as provocative to many Poles. The two countries share a difficult history, including decades of control by Moscow over Poland during the Cold War.

One of the most violent incidents occurred during the march. Polish hooligans attacked Russians, who responded violently. Dozens of men kicked and beat each other in the face, while flares exploded in their midst.

Journalists saw several people lying injured and bleeding on the ground. Poland and Russia fans were also seen fighting and throwing stones outside the stadium.

The news agency PAP reported that police used water cannons and tear gas to quell the disturbances.

In another incident, a group of clearly drunken Polish men began fighting among themselves, hitting and kicking each other.