Sports

England and Netherlands fans clash in Dortmund ahead of Euro 2024 semifinal game

DORTMUND, Germany — (AP) — Five people were injured in clashes between fans of England and the Netherlands ahead of the Euro 2024semifinal game between the two teams on Wednesday, police said.

More than 100,000 Dutch soccer fans were in Dortmund — which is close to the Dutch border — before the game for a march to the stadium, as well as large numbers of England fans.

“We are aware of some reports and videos circulating of disorder in Dortmund. It appears that there have been several instances of Dutch fans attacking England fans in bars and attempting to steal flags,” the U.K. Football Policing Unit, which deals with soccer violence involving British fans and has officers in Germany for the tournament, said in a statement.

“We understand this has resulted in minor injuries to five people. We are also aware that in addition to the tens of thousands of Dutch fans there to enjoy the game, there are groups of risk supporters who have traveled to Dortmund from the Netherlands. Our officers are at the location supporting German colleagues. We would advise supporters to be aware of their surroundings and seek areas where there is a German Police presence."

Local police in Dortmund said there had been confrontations between English and Dutch fans in three places and that police intervened to prevent “further escalations.” Police said that operations were ongoing and that they were not yet able to provide information on how many people were injured, or how many were detained.

Video footage posted on social media appeared to show a small number of people in Netherlands colors throwing chairs across a seating area outside a bar as another group of people took shelter inside.

Despite the incidents, Dortmund police said they were “largely satisfied” with a “largely peaceful pre-game phase.”

It's not the first time that England fans have been involved in violent incidents at Euro 2024.

Police detained eight people following a brawl between England and Serbia fans in Gelsenkirchen ahead of a group-stage game last month. Police said Serbia fans were eating inside a restaurant when a large group of England fans tried to get in.

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AP Euro 2024: https://apnews.com/hub/euro-2024

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