Amsterdam, July 25, 2009 [DutchAmsterdam.nl] — Amsterdam police on Saturday evening arrested eleven British soccer fans who were involved in a brawl.
Though the hooligans are thought to all be fans of British soccer club Sunderland, they were fighting among each other. The fight took place in front of a café in the Red Light District.
Six people were arrested for assault and battery, while five others were picked up because they did not carry valid identification.
The fans were in town because their club is participating in an Amsterdam football tournament. British club Newcastle United had originally been scheduled to play a pre-season friendly at Utrecht, 30 miles from Amsterdam. However, England’s Football Association forced the club to cancel that match over fears that fans of the arch rivals could end up fighting each other.
Amsterdam mayor Job Cohen had earlier demanded that Sunderland withdraw from the tournament in Amsterdam. Instead, the FA decided to give Sunderland priority over Newcastle United, because Sunderland’s application to play in Amsterdam was received first, the club had already sold tickets to its fans, and travel arrangements had been made.
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