Dozens arrested after police use gunfire to break up violent Ukrainian football hooligans (VIDEO)


Fifty-four suspected Ukrainian football hooligans have been in court in Portugal after police said stones, bottles and flares were thrown at them in wild scenes ahead of a Champions League clash involving Dynamo Kiev.

The incident occurred ahead of a decisive Champions League fixture for Benfica, who hosted rock-bottom side Dynamo in Group E on Wednesday.

Benfica’s 2-0 win saw the Primeira Liga team though to the knockout stage with group winners Bayern Munich, who beat Barcelona 3-0 in Germany to condemn the Liga giants to a Europa League Knockout Playoff.

In the hours leading up to kick-off, though, Kiev fans battled with rival supporters in the Alto dos Moinhos neighborhood of the Portuguese capital near the Estadio da Luz, in what officials believe was a pre-arranged meet-up.

Footage on social media appeared to show an explosive scene on the darkened main road, set to the sound of bottles smashing and mobs charging at each other while flares could be seen in the background.

Thirteen people and one officer were injured according to CNN Portugal, with 54 individuals – all believed to be part of the Dynamo faithful – reportedly arrested when the police showed up and ordered to appear before a court on Thursday morning. 

Lisbon Metropolitan Police confirmed the confrontation in a statement. “From what was [already] verified, there were behaviors that indicate that the meeting between the different groups was previously arranged,” the authority said.

“Of the detainees, 13 had injuries that needed medical treatment, and there was also one police officer who was not seriously injured.

“At the time of the intervention, the police were the target of several stones, bottles and flares being thrown, making it necessary to resort to coercive means to stop the clashes.

“Faced with the escalation of clashes between supporters and the following confrontation with police action, in order to preserve the physical integrity of police officers and third parties, it was necessary to fire 17 shots into the air and proceed with the arrest of the main [suspects].”

This is not the first time that Kiev fans have made headlines for the wrong reasons.

In 2018, they allegedly attacked traveling Liverpool supporters in a bar who were in their city for the Champions League final, and were also photographed having taken a flag off one bloodied fan with their victim held upside down. 

In August that year, they were also accused of attacking Ajax fans visiting the Ukrainian capital.

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