26 arrests at NL-Morocco match

23rd May 2007, Comments 0 comments

23 May 2007, TILBURG (AP) - Hooligans hurling seats and bottles injured several stewards and police made 26 arrests Tuesday night during rioting at an under-21 soccer international between the Netherlands and Morocco.

23 May 2007

TILBURG (AP) - Hooligans hurling seats and bottles injured several stewards and police made 26 arrests Tuesday night during rioting at an under-21 soccer international between the Netherlands and Morocco.

Authorities in Tilburg, where the match was played, declared a state of emergency, which allowed police to block supporters from heading downtown after the match. Instead, most were put on buses and taken directly to the city's rail station.

Henk Kesler, chief of the Dutch soccer association, said he would not book any new matches between the Netherlands and Morocco and was considering a five-year ban.

The stewards were slightly injured when Moroccan supporters threw objects down from the stands, police said in a statement Wednesday.

The match, which Morocco won 2-0, had to be stopped twice in the second half when Moroccan fans ran onto the pitch. After the final whistle, dozens of supporters stormed the field.

"More than 100 officers were deployed to restore order," police said in a statement.

The violence came just weeks before the Netherlands is due to host the European Championships for under-21 teams.

Netherlands coach Foppe de Haan said he was shocked by the violence.

"We have to learn lessons from this," De Haan said. "When some Moroccans got onto the pitch in the first half I wondered what was happening. We cannot accept this or the events after the match."

Many youths of Moroccan descent live in poor neighborhoods of Dutch cities, where high unemployment and crime are rampant.

[Copyright AP 2007]

Subject: Dutch news

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