Hockey fans keep running into trouble with Latvian Police

  • 2006-05-09
  • By TBT staff
Several foreign ice-hockey fans have had some troubles with the police during the world championship over use of alcohol in the streets and suspected use of drugs. As was reported earlier, on Saturday [May 6] 35 people were fined for carrying open bottles with alcoholic drinks in the streets, and 24 of those were foreign nationals.

Two Finnish, one Norwegian and three Swedish ice-hockey fans have been taken to the sobering house because they were so drunk that they could not tell the police in which hotel they were staying. One drunken Finn was taken to his hotel from the city center.

Three Irishmen and one Australian national have been taken to the police station over suspected use of drugs.
A drinking bout together with some local ice-hockey fans had unpleasant consequences for three Norwegians, who afterwards discovered that some of their things have been stolen.

However, on Sunday even more foreign ice hockey fans ran into trouble. Five Finns got themselves in the biggest trouble at a bar in the city center where they got a bill for 2,500 lats (EUR 3,500). When they refused to pay, the bouncer had allegedly threatened them with a knife and one of the Finns had paid the huge bill with his credit card. The Finns then reported the incident to the police. Latvian National Police spokeswoman Ieva Zvidre agreed that the bill seemed unreasonably large.

A number of drunken foreigners had to be taken to their hotels or to a sobering house, if they were not able to give the name of their hotel. An Estonian citizen was taken to a hospital with alcohol poisoning.
Some more foreign fans have had their things and documents stolen or lost.
"Finnish fans caused the biggest problems to the police so far, Zvidre said. "These people, having escaped their country, think they have arrived in the country where one can do just anything," she added.

And here is just one advice that comes into mind regarding the situation: while being hockey fans and giving all the support to your national team, never forget that there's no TV available at the prison cells or sobering houses. So be reasonable and don't let your team to play without your personal support!