More football violence as Spanish cops attack Tottenham fans in game against Sevilla

This shows yet again that police in Continental Europe who are policing football games are probably too heavy-handed.

Just as Manchester United fans got unnecessary beatings on Wednesday by the police in Rome - whereas Rome's hooligan fans, known as the "Ultras", who probably started the troubles, were left unscathed - last night saw more trouble by Continental European riot police against English fans, this time Tottenham Hotspur supporters.

Spurs investigate trouble in Seville

By Vicki Hodges


Tottenham have given their full support to the authorities who will investigate the crowd trouble which took place in Seville .

Holding back: stewards try to intervene in the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium

Just 24 hours after Manchester United fans clashed with riot police in Rome, Tottenham supporters were caught up in disturbances with police on the terraces during their Uefa Cup quarter-final first leg 2-1 defeat against Sevilla.

Trouble flared in the away section of the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan stadium half-an-hour into the game where riot police were deployed.

The clashes continued at half-time with seats and punches thrown, but later died down once the police departed the Spurs enclosure at the start of the second half.

Uefa have already said that they will await the reports of officials and match delegates before launching an investigation into the incident while continuing to look into the events which marred Manchester United's Champions League last eight tie against Roma.

Tottenham, meanwhile, are determined to establish the sequence of events which caused the police to react in the way they did with supporters.

Hurt ... Spurs fan at last night's game in Seville

A club statement read: "The club will be working with the appropriate authorities to ascertain the events in Seville.

"Our initial reports suggest there was no fan-to-fan fighting at any stage of the proceedings.

"As such we are seeking explanations as to why the police reacted in the way they did with our fans.

"Tottenham Hotspur supporters have enjoyed an exemplary reputation across Europe this season which is why (these) events are unprecedented.

"We will be co-operating fully with Uefa, the British Embassy and the Spanish authorities to understand why this has happened.

"British Police, the club's security officials, and club stewards - supported by British Embassy officials - will also be providing the Spanish authorities and Uefa with full statements from their first-hand experience of what happened."

Police needed to separate both sets of supporters outside the ground before kick-off.

Up to 50 Spurs fans were chanting, gesticulating and causing an obstruction for passing vehicles in the street opposite a hotel where the Sevilla team were located.

Sevilla fans were also congregated outside the hotel waiting for their team to board the bus.

Baton charge: Seville police confront Tottenham fans last night

Confrontation: confusion on the terraces as police wade in to the Spurs end


As an Israeli living in Tel Aviv , I had the immense pleasure recently of meeting hundreds of English fans when they came over here to attend the international game . They were great - good fun , well behaved and a joy to speak with .Yes , they liked their beer , but so do I.... I simply cannot understand why the Italians and Spanish will be so brutal to them . So to all English football fans - come again - we like you !!!

Posted by Avi Ilani on April 6, 2007
Eternal city is INFERNAL city

The unnecessary heavy-handedness shown by Italian cops to English fans on Wednesday night - and against by Spanish cops against English fans last night - shows once more how England leads the way in Europe for preventing crowd trouble

CHARGE ... Italian cops go for Manchester United fans in Rome on Wednesday night

April 06, 2007

IT was a graphic, first-hand account of what actually went on at Rome’s Olympic Stadium on Wednesday night.

“The police wanted trouble,” said the Manchester United fan. “They were really psyched up. One girl was pushed down the steps and, as she lay there, they hit her with batons. They were animals.”

But that is what they do in Rome.

In the old days, they had blood- curdling ‘entertainment’ at the Colosseum. Now they attack defenceless women as they lie on the ground.

And what will UEFA do about it? Probably give Roma no more than a slap on the wrist.

They may even fine United for the ‘improper conduct of their fans’. Just as they did following United’s Champions League game against Lille in Lens.

A worrying statement from William Gaillard, personal press adviser to new UEFA boss Michel Platini, read: “We will have to see what role United fans had in the incidents, because they had a problem in Lens earlier in the year.”

Had a problem in Lens? The only problem they had was when far too many supporters were squeezed into one pen behind a goal.

When they tried to scale the fence in front, police attempted to throw them back in (is it wrong to want to get out to prevent yourself from being crushed to death, Hillsborough-style?)

Wednesday night was far worse, though. One United fan must have been clubbed a dozen times by hyped-up, baton-wielding police. They appeared to be enjoying it.

But, as I said, this is nothing new in Rome. Nor were the stabbings. It happened to Liverpool supporters before the 1984 European Cup Final and again when they met Roma in a UEFA Cup tie in 2001, with 14 Liverpudlians ending up in hospital.

Last season three Middlesbrough fans were stabbed and 10 injured after an ambush by 100 Ultras.

What sanctions were taken against Roma? None. Because UEFA always claim clubs are not responsible for the actions of their fans outside grounds.

The only time UEFA were spurred into action was when referee Anders Frisk was hit by a lighter thrown from the crowd during Roma’s Champions League game with Dinamo Kiev in 2004.

Kiev were awarded the game 3-0 and Roma had to play their next two European games behind closed doors. Have the club or the police learned? Not judging by Wednesday night.

The hooligan problem is once again escalating throughout Europe and nowhere more so than in Italy. A country still coming to terms with the latest bribes scandal was forced to witness the death of a policeman after the Catania- Palermo game in February.

Because of that, you can understand a certain wariness on behalf of the Rome police.

But what happened was a massive over-reaction, as they laid into United fans who had already been attacked on the way to the ground and then pelted with bottles.

Sure, there was some United reaction. One fan was pictured hurling a seat, others moved across a 30-yard no-go zone separating them from the Ultras just after Roma’s first goal.

But this was nothing compared with the earlier provocation and the beatings that followed.

Knowing Roma’s past record, United had issued detailed letters of warning to their fans to be on their guard.

The Mayor of Rome called this an insult, claiming United were creating a ‘negative climate’.

What a joke. Next Roma will try to suggest all the past incidents, the countless stabbings and police brutality has been an over-dramatisation.

Just as their sister club, Lazio, tries to play down long-proved charges of racism.

I have been to Rome many times over the last 20 years. I have seen their fans and their police in ‘action’ more times than I care to recall.

And, yes, I understand the irony of the post-Heysel English complaining about the behaviour of other supporters.

But that still does not take away from the fact the Eternal City has now become the Infernal City.