Thursday 19 July 2018

57 Manchester United fans arrested after violent clashes in Bruges

Wayne Rooney, second left, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Champions League play-off round
Wayne Rooney, second left, celebrates with teammates after scoring during the Champions League play-off round

Fifty-seven Manchester United fans were arrested in Bruges on Wednesday night as fighting took the gloss off their emphatic Champions League win over Club Brugge.

Chief Constable of Bruges Police Dirk van Nuffel said glasses and chairs were thrown in a clash between English and Belgian "hooligans" outside a bar in the city centre after the 4-0 win, which put United into the Champions League group stages.

Van Nuffel said around 30 Belgian thugs attacked United fans in the Charlie Rockets pub. The fight then spilled out on to the street, where the missiles were thrown.

Van Nuffel revealed 32 travelling fans and six Belgians were arrested near the bar.

"There were a lot of fans without a ticket and they were attacked by 30 hooligans from Bruges," Van Nuffel said.

"Police forces were present quickly and made 32 arrests of Englishmen and six Belgians.

"They were all registered and then released. We have the identities of all the people involved.

"We will pass those identities to the British police and they will decide whether to charge them.

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"Glasses and chairs were thrown but there was no major damage.

"One policeman was injured by a Belgian hooligan."

Greater Manchester Police officers who had been flown in to look out for any trouble, reported that one of the United fans was detained for resisting arrest and another for damaging a police car.

Van Nuffel reported that 25 more United fans were arrested near the stadium for not having a ticket. They were all released shortly afterwards.

United had received an allocation of 1,675 tickets, but many more travelled to Bruges for the match.

Despite the arrests, Van Nuffel was happy with the behaviour of most of the United fans who travelled to the match.

"My general impression of the Manchester United fans was very good, especially the ones at the match," he said.

"They drank a lot but that is an English tradition. On the whole I was very satisfied with them."

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