The Observer :

English fan stabbed in Copenhagen

Football Unlimited staff Wednesday May 17, 2000 (Over de rellen op dinsdag avond)

Arsenal have offered supporters on official club trips to tonight's Uefa Cup final a full refund if they do not wish to travel to Copenhagen after an English football fan was stabbed during running battles between Galatasaray and Arsenal supporters.
The fan was stabbed in the early hours of this morning after a series of clashes outside bars near the City Hall Square. But Copenhagen police spokesman Superintendent Flemming Munch told reporters the wound was not life-threatening. "He has been seriously injured, but he will survive," he said. "We believe he may have been hit in the lung. " Police said that seven people were injured in the trouble, four English and three Turkish, but all - apart from the stab victim - suffered minor injuries.
Arsenal's offer of a refund was made in a handwritten note given to every supporter as they checked in this morning to catch one of their official flights to the Danish capital. The note, which had been written on Arsenal's headed paper and was handed out by club officials, said: "If any supporter travelling on an official club trip does now not wish to travel to Copenhagen, the club will give a full refund."
Twelve fans opted to stay in England, but the vast majority of the 2,000 supporters scheduled to fly out today decided to attend the game in the Parken Stadium. Arsenal spokeswoman Amanda Docherty claimed that the club felt it was right to make the offer. She said: "Some people obviously now do not wish to go to the match so therefore it's only right and fair to give them a full refund. The stabbing was an isolated incident and we have been through the city today and the supporters are mixing in the main square and everybody is fine.
" Last night's fighting broke out at about 1am when dozens of Turkish fans attacked the Absalom, a disco bar, in which fans of the north London club had been spending much of the evening. Police in riot gear moved in quickly and the mob began running around the square, approaching another bar, called the Scottish Pub, where one fan hurled a glass at its doors. When a lull developed in the fighting, the stab victim received extensive treatment on the road in a main thoroughfare leading off the square.
Concerned Arsenal fans knelt on the ground around him, using their shirts to staunch the flow of blood, before an ambulance eventually came to take him to hospital. There followed a further attack on the Absalom, and with the situation still unresolved, a gang of 40 Arsenal fans advanced towards their Turkish rivals and a confrontation quickly broke out. The fans chased each other across the centre of the square and an attack broke out on a bar and restaurant called Rosie McGee's. All hell broke loose as missiles of all kinds were thrown by Turks at the bar and returned by the English who had rushed to its doors. Bottles, glasses and bicycles flew through the night air as the battle raged. Again police were quickly on the scene, and officers in full riot gear interposed themselves between the warring factions and officers with dogs finally brought the fighting to an end.
Police said eight men were arrested - four Britons and four Turks - after the scuffles. Supt Andy Smith, who travelled with the Arsenal fans from north London, said: "I am very sad and distressed to hear of this incident. It has spoiled what had been up until now a very relaxed and good atmosphere." Later, a Danish police spokesman said: "We had hoped this would not happen but are not shocked that it has, because it was something we had expected more or less. We hope for the best later today." He also said that despite last night's violence the police would stick to their preparations, and had no plans to close the bars in the city centre.

Renewed fighting breaks out in Copenhagen (Rellen woensdag)

English fan stabbed in Copenhagen again and one ear ripped off

Sean Ingle Wednesday May 17, 2000

A second Arsenal fan has been stabbed and another has had part of his ear ripped off after renewed fighting broke out in the centre of Copenhagen earlier this afternoon.
A police officer said that an English supporter had been stabbed in the stomach with a knife by a man of Turkish origin during fierce skirmishes between Arsenal and Galatasaray fans. Another ten people were taken to hospital with minor injuries - including a man who was bleeding profusely after having half his ear ripped off.
The violence erupted around mid-afternoon in Radhuspladsen Square, after rowdy fans started hurling bottles, chairs and bicycles at each other. A few minutes later a full-scale riot broke up with running skirmishes between the two sets of supporters. Witnesses told of how at the height of the fighting, groups of English fans beat up individual Turks and used weapons such as iron bars. The owner of a snackbar on the square said a group of people wearing Galatasaray jerseys attacked an English fan with a cafe chair which was still bloody from the night before - the fan was taken away in an ambulance.
A Turkish cameraman was also injured in the fighting. Few police were on the square when the violence began, but they appeared shortly afterwards and managed to quell the riot by firing tear gas and releasing dogs. For most of the morning both sets of supporters seemed to be mingling peacefully. But around 3pm local time gangs of fans chanting "England, England" started hurling missiles and wielding sticks at Galatasaray fans.
The Arsenal fans were gathered outside a bar called the Palace Hotel when riot police moved in to disperse them and they fled down the street from the officers, who had batons drawn. A few minutes later a full-scale riot broke out. Missiles of every kind, including chairs snatched from the centre of the square, were hurled and the English fans put the Turkish supporters to flight. They then trapped a small number of Galatarasay fans at the top of steps leading up to the city hall before police managed to drive riot vans between the raging English mob and the trapped Turks.
Police then fired tear gas which had supporters from both sides fleeing and choking, with their eyes weeping, and for a while the situation calmed down. The fighting later moved to the street off the main square. English fans clashed with the riot police, who pushed them along the broad boulevard into a square where they contained them and a fragile calm descended. Shadow culture, media and sport minister Peter Ainsworth said: "This behaviour from fans of both teams is utterly disgraceful and I hesitate to use the words football fans in this case. "It is sheer hooliganism and this behaviour has sadly overshadowed this competition, which should have been a celebration of football. "The news of the running battles in Copenhagen, in which innocent and genuine football fans and families have found themselves trapped, fuels the concerns I have over the suitability of Charleroi for the high-profile England versus Germany Euro 2000 fixture on June 17. "Questions need to be answered as to how these hooligans were able to travel there in the first place. Urgent lessons need to be learnt before the first ball kicks off in Euro 2000." Approximately 2,000 officers - 20 percent of Denmark's total police force - have been called up for tonight's match, and 1.7 miles of fencing has been erected to keep British and Turkish supporters apart.

Stabbed Arsenal fan says he was an inch from death

Football Unlimited and agencies Wednesday May 17, 2000

Arsenal fan Paul Dineen, 41, who was stabbed during the first outbreak of violence, said today from his hospital bed that doctors told him he was an inch from death when the knife was plunged in his back.
Mr Dineen, from Edgware, north London, said he still hoped to get to tonight's Uefa Cup final if he was well enough to travel. He told how he initially thought he had been punched when he was stabbed near Rosie McGee's bar, just off the large Radhuspladsen square in the city. "There was pandemonium going on, bottles, glasses and bicycles being thrown around, and suddenly I felt what I thought was a punch in the back. Then I felt liquid - blood - and fell to the ground. I was in unbearable pain as my friends helped me, and I thought I was going to die." "I don't know if it hit my lung but I was told I was one inch away from death." Mr Dineen added: "After what happened in Istanbul [when two Leeds United fans were stabbed to death on the eve of the semi-final first leg] and now this, I think the Turks should definitely be thrown out of the competition, without a shadow of a doubt. How long is it going to go on? "The policing last night was non-existent. On a high profile occasion like this, you need firm but fair policing, with a lot of officers out and about, and I'm sure in Italy or France that would have happened."