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Fan brawl reportedly involving Serbian president’s son ends in criminal charges (VIDEOS)

A violent clash broke out on Sunday ahead of the Serbia-England match at the Euro 2024 football tournament in Germany

Seven Serbs and one UK citizen are facing criminal charges and tournament bans following a mass brawl on Sunday in Gelsenkirchen, Germany, The Guardian reported citing local police. The scuffle took place ahead of the Serbia-England opening match in the Euro 2024 group stage.

According to the report, the violence erupted after England supporters attempted to enter a restaurant where Serbia fans were dining before the game, but police said it was unclear which side actually threw the first punch.

Videos taken by onlookers and posted online showed chairs and tables being upended, bottles thrown and people chasing and beating each other on the street. According to police estimates, the brawl involved roughly 150 people. Media reports claim some 200 German riot police were rushed to the scene to break up the melee.

Several fans and at least one police officer suffered serious injuries as a result of the clash, and footage showed at least two people taken away by ambulance with heavily bandaged heads.

Some media reports cited witnesses as saying that a group of some 30 men sporting balaclavas rushed into the bar in what looked like a premeditated attack. Others claimed that Albanian nationals wearing England t-shirts had instigated the brawl.

However, Gelsenkirchen authorities later stressed that only English and Serbian fans were involved – both considered “high risk” due to the reputation of their fans.

“The Serbian fan group was already in the restaurant… and then a larger group of English fans tried to get into this restaurant as well… When they tried to enter the pub, there was an immediate physical altercation,” Peter Both, Gelsenkirchen police chief, said at a press conference on Monday. He added that he could not say for certain whether the English provoked the Serbs or the other way around.

Both confirmed that eight fans were taken into custody and are facing criminal charges. He added that he would recommend to UEFA that those who took part in the brawl be banned from attending the next Euro football tournament.

Some reports claim that Danilo Vucic, son of the Serbian President Aleksandar Vucic, was among the participants in the scuffle. The alleged footage of the younger Vucic showed three suspected bodyguards holding him back as he tried to dive into the fray just outside the restaurant where the fighting broke out. The 26-year-old is an acknowledged football fan and is rumored to have ties to a hardline Serbian football hooligan gang. Serbian authorities have not confirmed Vucic’s involvement in the incident.

READ MORE: German police shoot axe-wielding attacker in Hamburg (VIDEO)

Team England secured a 1-0 victory against Serbia on Sunday, and will return to Gelsenkirchen at the end of the month if it wins the remaining matches in its group.

June 17, 2024 at 08:38PM

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