Soccer match ends in riot

  • 2007-07-09
  • By Mike Collier
VILNIUS - Police detained 30 people during riots at an Intertoto Cup soccer match between Lithuanian team Vilnius Vetra and Polish team Legia Warsaw, July 8.

More than 200 officers, including mounted units, were required to suppress the trouble which erupted when Polish fans came onto the field and began breaking fences and throwing stones. Scuffles were reported from various parts of the ground and stewards were forced to call in the police.

Vetra were leading 2:0 when the trouble started.

Vetra press officer Tautvydas Vencevicius told The Baltic Times: "It was war - war on the football field. Of the 2,500 Legia fans, about 500 were not interested in football at all, just fighting. We have never had anything like this before. Our fans are well behaved."

Of the 30 arrests made, four were Lithuanians. One Lithuanian supporter was treated for a cut neck.

The UEFA official present eventually declared that the match should be abandoned. Either or both teams could now face punishment from UEFA, European soccer's governing body. Likely measures include expulsion from the competition and financial penalties.

With extensive video evidence available, UEFA should have few problems identifying who was responsible for the violence and a ruling is expected by the end of the week.