Dutch servicemen involved in Curaao football violence

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A navy spokesman has confirmed reports that Dutch servicemen were involved in a massive brawl on the island of Curaçao which followed the World Cup final on Sunday evening.

Hundreds of people had been watching the match in cafes in the island's capital Willemstad when Holland supporters got into a fight with a Curaçaoan who was dancing with a Spanish flag. Soon beer bottles and paving stones were flying around and the Curaçaoan police had to fire warning shots into the air to calm things down.

Three Dutch servicemen were among those hurt.The police did not make any arrests but are preparing a report on the incident. The navy will wait for the report before disciplining the servicemen. According to the spokesman, they claim they were attacked and had to defend themselves.

Helmin Wiels, leader of the separatist party, accuses the authorities of taking insufficient measure to ensure public safety. He called it a sign of the "recolonisation of Curaçao" that it could experience footbal violence, a phenomenon unknown in the Netherlands Antilles until now.


© Radio Netherlands Worldwide

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