Budapest, September 5 (MTI) – Police arrested 51 soccer hooligans in the early hours of Saturday after violent clashes between rowdy fans and police officers following the Hungary-Romania European Championship qualifier which ended with a scoreless draw in Budapest on Friday evening.
Altogether 38 people — both police and fans — were injured in running battles near the Groupama Arena, a national police headquarters spokesperson told a news conference on Saturday.
Before the match and afterwards members of a group of 1,500-2,000 fans mounted repeated and sustained attacks against police with bottles, petards, stones and traffic pollards, the spokesperson said.
In response, police were forced to deploy tear gas, dogs, mounted police and water cannon in a bid to restore public order.
The rioting fans pelted traffic signs, dustbins and concrete slabs at the officers, who responded by using tear gas and water cannon.
Twenty people were taken into criminal custody while 22 were detained for public-order offences. MTI learned from a police source that four Romanians were among those arrested.
Mounted police charged the hooligans to force them to leave the area around Groupama Arena, the venue of the match.
Fifteen Hungarian hooligans were injured while many of the 23 police officers hurt were taken to hospital.
Altogether 21 police vehicles and one water cannon were trashed.
Riot police lined up along Kerepesi Road near Keleti railway station to prevent hooligans from clashing with illegal migrants who were waiting to be transported to the Hungarian-Austrian border last night.