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76 held over Anderlecht-PSG hooligan fears - police

24 October 2013, 06:44

Brussels - A total of 76 suspected troublemakers have been detained in Brussels before the "high risk" Champions League between Anderlecht and Paris Saint-Germain, police said on Wednesday.

A spokeswoman for the police in the Belgian capital, Marie Verbeeck, said officers had brought in a "hardcore" of 60 PSG supporters, many of them with convictions related to football violence and already banned from football grounds.

They are being held in custody under preventative arrest for 24 hours.

Nine other people, six French nationals and three Poles who were said by police to be connected to the PSG fans, were stopped at Brussels Midi railway station on Tuesday evening.

One of the three Poles, who had travelled from the southern city of Krakow via Germany, was armed with a butcher's knife.

Seven Belgian supporters of Anderlecht were also taken into custody overnight, police said.

Belgian and French authorities have deemed the Champions League match high risk because of fears of clashes between hooligans on both sides.

"It's probably the most dangerous match of the year. And we're going to ensure maximum protection of the population and property," the mayor of Anderlecht, Eric Thomas, said on Tuesday.

Some 400 police officers have been deployed for the match.

Bad blood between the two clubs dates back to a UEFA Cup quarter-final at the Parc des Princes in Paris in November 1992, when fighting broke out and caused a number of injuries.




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