FC Twente concerned about fan safety in return game against Hammarby in Stockholm after riots

It remains uncertain whether FC Twente fans will be allowed to attend the return game next week in Stockholm following several serious violent incidents that occurred during the match between FC Twente and Hammarby IF in the second preliminary round of the Conference League on Thursday evening. Supporters of both clubs clashed in the stands immediately after the duel, exchanging heavy blows. FC Twente asked the Swedish authorities whether it would be wise to issue a positive travel advisory.

According to a video circulating on social media, approximately 200 Swedish supporters were seated in the main stand during the game. They were singing and provoking throughout the match, as observed by journalists at the stadium. When the game ended, FC Twente fans dressed in black hoodies attacked the group of Hammarby fans in the main stand.

It was also restless around the stadium, and the police had to intervene. The riot police were deployed. The police made nine arrests for public violence, assault, and insulting an official. One of the arrested individuals was a minor who was released the following morning.

The police spokesperson mentioned several injuries, but the exact numbers were not given. A Swedish supporter fell from the stands and was injured. He had to be treated on the field and was then taken to the hospital. A police investigation has been launched.

“We will, of course, do everything in our power to identify the perpetrators,” said FC Twente director Paul van de Kraan in a newsletter. “They can expect a stadium ban.” Van de Kraan apologized to all supporters and sponsors. “The disturbances that took place in our stadium completely overshadowed the match,” he said. “These are unworthy of FC Twente and have no place in any stadium. Incidents like these cause anger and shame. So soon after the evening, it’s too early to draw conclusions. We’re going to thoroughly investigate this.”

Van de Kraan brought attention to some behavior exhibited by certain Swedish fans during the game. He pointed out that the Hammarby supporters completely ignored the minute of silence held in memory of Theo Pahlplatz and Dais ter Beek. “This was disrespectful.” Another issue he raised was related to the allocation of tickets. According to UEFA regulations, every home club is required to provide 200 tickets for the main stand to sponsors and associates of the visiting club. “We questioned whether these tickets were given to the right people.” He remarked that during the match, the Swedish fans’ behavior was repeatedly addressed by the security personnel, and even the Hammarby board took action against them. All these efforts were in vain. “However, these provocations should never be a reason to attack the main stand,” he said.

According to the chairman of the Swedish club Richard von Yxkull, the majority of the Swedes present in the main stand were sponsors and associates affiliated with their association, AD reported on Friday. He said that the man who had to be hospitalized was also a sponsor. “He was both beaten and kicked before he fell. He was injured to the extent that he had to be taken to the hospital. I hope he recovers,” he said the to Swedish reporters.

FC Twente won 1-0 against the Swedish club. The return match is scheduled in Stockholm next week on Thursday. “It is evident that our home match against FC Twente now carries a significant risk,” said Von Yxkull. “We need to discuss this with FC Twente, UEFA, and our security personnel. We must have a conversation about how to approach our next match.”

FC Twente asked the Swedish authorities whether it would be wise to issue a positive travel advisory. The club wants to ensure that FC Twente supporters will be safe. For the return match, FC Twente has already sold 1500 tickets.

Reporting by ANP and NL Times

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