Riots in London as Chelsea fans clash with police after Champions League defeat
Daily Mail Reporter
Last updated at 12:58 PM on 22nd May 2008
Riot police fought running battles with football hooligans as violence erupted in London after Chelsea's Champions League Final defeat.
Around 200 drunken fans clashed with police outside Fulham Broadway Tube station, close to the club's Stamford Bridge ground.
The trouble started soon after Chelsea's defeat on penalties against Manchester United in Moscow.
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Stand off: Police and fans confront each other outside Fulham Broadway Tube station near Stamford Bridge after Chelsea's loss
Hundreds of Chelsea supporters who had been watching the game on TV in pubs and bars on Fulham Broadway poured onto the streets.
The scene turned ugly when a huge crowd who had been noisy and abusive and chanting songs began hurling objects at police and passers-by.
Shortly after 11pm, dozens of police riot vans raced to the scene with sirens blaring.
A squad of around 100 officers sealed off the street and contained the crowd outside the Tube station.
Blood stained the pavement outside the building which houses the station and a shopping centre.
As the stand-off developed, hooligans - including several young women - hurled bottles and dustbins at police before running back into the crowd.
Many thugs covered their faces with scarves as they taunted police. Officers in riot gear and wielding batons charged the crowd to disperse them as missiles rained down.
Torn: A blood-stained Chelsea flag lies crumpled on the ground and, below, police and paramedics help an injured fan
Paramedics and police tend to an injured man during the violent clashes
Security guard Raheem Khan tried to protect terrified passengers using the Tube station.
He said: "I saw Chelsea fans fighting each other, throwing punches and kicks. There was blood everywhere. The police were trying to control the number of people coming into the station but it got out of hand.
"They were throwing bottles and anything they could get their hands on at police and staff. We locked the doors to keep the hooligans out but they were trying to force their way in.
"Normal passengers and fans were screaming, children were crying, and I was getting as many as I could to safety out of a back exit. Outside it was like a full-scale riot.
"All over a game of football - it's unbelievable."
Chelsea football fans face off against police as scuffles, below, take hold
A police helicopter hovered overhead monitoring the trouble and spotting ringleaders.
There were dramatic scenes as police snatch squads then cornered individuals in the street and dragged them into police vans.
At one point a suspected drunk driver attempted to drive down Fulham Broadway and collided with a football supporter.
The fan suffered a broken leg and the driver was pulled from his car for his own safety after being surrounded by angry supporters.
Police arrested the driver for drink driving, grievous bodily harm and dangerous driving.
Officers also fought running battles with smaller groups in side streets as they tried to regain control.
Several supporters suffered head injuries after being hit by flying bottles or being struck by police batons.
Riot police subdue one fan with batons as they battled to keep control
Twelve people were arrested for public order offences. The ambulance service took 14 people to hospital and treated four others at the scene.
Most injuries were relatively minor head wounds and facial injuries. No police officers were wounded.
Some fans claimed they were targeted indiscriminately and accused police of "heavy-handed" tactics but officers insisted they were specifically targeting troublemakers.
Student Peter Simmons, 20, of Fulham, said: "They were just lashing out at anyone. It was outrageous. I was trying to get a girl out of there because she was frightened but one officer went for me anyway."
Supporters also pelted police cars and ambulances with missiles. Some were seen to empty bins searching for bottles to hurl.
Glass and debris scattered the street outside the station and a car was also badly damaged.
Around 100 riot police eventually dispersed the crowd. A Scotland Yard spokesman said the main disturbance was under control by around midnight.
He added: "There were around 200 people gathered in Fulham Broadway who became noisy and abusive. Disorder started with objects being thrown.
"Officers from the Territorial Support Group provided assistance to local officers. A number of arrests were made before the remainder of crowd were dispersed."
Victory: The scene in the stadium in Moscow was a sharp contrast to violence back home
The disturbance came a week after thousands of Glasgow Rangers fans rioted in Manchester city centre following their UEFA Cup Final defeat.
But in the city last night, Greater Manchester Police said there had been no reports of football-related violence,
However, because of the UEFA clashes, there will be no triumphant parade through the city today when the team return home.
An open-top bus parade was ruled out , although the club's chief executive David Gill has promised there will be some sort of celebration of United's double-win this summer.
Police in Moscow said there had been some skirmishes involving supporters and local Russian youths after the game but heavy rain helped keep trouble to a minimum.
Heavy rain in the Russian capital is believed to have played its part in any major trouble flaring before and after the game but there were isolated incidents.
Before kick-off there was an incident in a street close to the Kremlin, when 15 Russian teenagers clashed with around 50 English fans in a pub.
Russian reports said that beer glasses were thrown at the Moscovites. Several English fans reported concussion, broken teeth, and head injuries in the clash.
Thousands of Chelsea fans were bussed under police escort to their airports soon after their team lost on penalties.
Police said they had used mobile "sobering vans" to treat drunk fans before the game.
"This has been a successful operation. We are pleased at the lack of trouble. Most fans have seen a great game and are going back to Britain safe, if wet," said a police commander at the stadium.
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