Belfast : émeute après match mars 2009

irlande

Football Fans Clash At World Cup Qualifier

Sunday March 29, 2009

Football fans and police have been injured in clashes between rival Northern Ireland and Poland supporters in Belfast.

Riot officers break up a heated exchange after a chair was sent through a window

Bricks, fireworks and other missiles were hurled across the city centre as fans gathered for the World Cup qualifier at Windsor Park.

At least 11 police officers were injured and supperters of both Poland and Northern Ireland needed hospital treatment.

Police believe a small hardcore of Polish fans were behind the trouble, which led to nine arrests.

« A number of homes were attacked and these are being treated as racially-motivated incidents, » said police superintendent Mark Noble.

« We believe there was a hardcore of Polish nationals who came to the game without tickets but with a very clear intent to cause trouble.

Police surround Poland fans

« We believe these troublemakers are not local. Unfortunately their actions may well have put the safety of law-abiding and local Polish residents in jeopardy. »

Before the game, trouble flared at a city centre pub where a chair was hurled through a window hurting at least one fan.

The game itself was stopped when a linesman was hit on the head by an object launched from the home section of the crowd.

Several Poland supporters tried to climb a perimeter fence into the stadium but police moved in to stop them.

Northern Ireland won the game 3-2, which left them top of Europe zone qualifying group three.

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Violence mars Northern Ireland-Poland match

BELFAST (AFP) — Several football fans and police officers were injured as rival Northern Ireland and Poland football fans clashed in ugly scenes in Belfast.

Violence occurred before, during and after the World Cup qualifier at the Windsor Park ground, with bricks and fireworks among the missiles hurled in the city centre.

Several people were arrested, with the police citing a hardcore of Poland supporters intent on causing trouble.

The unrest comes at a difficult time in Northern Ireland, with authorities trying to keep a lid on civil disturbances following the murders of a police officer and two British soldiers earlier this month in attacks that threatened to drag the province back into sectarian strife.

« My officers came under attack from bottles, bricks, fireworks and other missiles, » said police superintendent Chris Noble.

« At this stage we have reports of 11 officers injured. A number of fans both Northern Ireland and Polish supporters also received a number of injuries; some of these required hospital treatment.

« Nine people so far have been arrested for a range of offences including public order offences. A number of homes were attacked and these are being treated as racially-motivated incidents. »

Following the Good Friday peace accords of 1998, Northern Ireland has become less a place of emigration and has attracted east European migrants. Thousands of Poles live and work in the province, forming a significant minority.

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However, police said they were not thought to be behind the violence.

« We believe there was a hardcore of Polish nationals who came to the game without tickets but with a very clear intent to cause trouble and disruption to genuine supporters and local residents. We believe these troublemakers are not local, » said Noble.

« Unfortunately their actions may well have put the safety of law-abiding and local Polish residents in jeopardy. »

Before the game, trouble flared at a city centre pub where a chair was hurled through a window. At least one person was injured.

During the match, a linesman was struck on the head by a missile thrown from the home section of the crowd, which held up play for several minutes. The Irish Football Association could face action from world governing body FIFA over the incident.

Several Poland supporters tried to climb a perimeter fence but police moved in to stop them.

Afterwards, unrest continued in the city centre.

On the pitch, Northern Ireland won 3-2, which left them top of Europe zone qualifying group three.

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~ par Alain Bertho sur 29 mars 2009.

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