Eight temporarily detained after clash between Serbia, England fans

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Eight people were temporarily detained following a brawl between Serbia and England fans in Gelsenkirchen ahead of the two countries’ opening European Championship match, police said Monday.

Authorities said the incident on Sunday was over quickly and that they were satisfied overall with the security operation surrounding the match, which was classified as high risk by police over concerns about potential fan violence.

Both sets of supporters have a reputation for causing trouble before and during matches.

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In what police described as the only notable clash, social media footage showed men throwing chairs at each other outside a restaurant festooned with Serbian flags. Police said a group of Serbia fans was eating inside when a large group of England fans tried to get in.

Reporters who arrived shortly afterward found the street littered with broken glass and tables as several dozen police officers stood by.

Seven Serbia supporters and one England fan were detained after the brawl and missed the match, senior Gelsenkirchen police official Peter Both told reporters. He said one fan went to a hospital with a head injury, but discharged himself to watch the game. Officials were not aware of anyone else being hurt.

Both said the detained fans were released during the night, but police are in contact with UEFA and would recommend them being barred from upcoming matches.

Police in the area have longstanding experience with one of Germany’s highest-risk matches, the derby between Gelsenkirchen-based Schalke — currently in the second division — and rival Borussia Dortmund.

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