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    Dutch Football Fans Riot After Their Team Fails to Secure Title

    Dutch Football Fans Riot After Their Team Fails to Secure Title

    © AP Photo / Geert Vanden Wijngaert
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    Russian football fans have been branded hooligans recently but it was Dutch supporters who were capturing the headlines Sunday, May 7, with disgraceful scenes in Rotterdam, Netherlands.

    Dutch football fans rioted in Rotterdam when their football team lost a crucial end-of-season clash with their hated city rivals.

    Feyenoord have not won the Dutch league championship, the Eredivisie, since 1999, and their notorious fans had expected to clinch it with victory away to crosstown rivals Excelsior. But they lost the game 3-0 and are now only a point ahead of their deadly arch-rivals Ajax of Amsterdam.

    Around 50,000 Feyenoord fans watched the game, beamed back live on giant screens at their De Kuip stadium. They were hoping to celebrate their club's first league title for 18 years.

    But after the match, their mood turned ugly after they learned that Ajax had thrashed Go Ahead Eagles, from Deventer, 4-0 to close the gap.

    YouTube footage showed fans clashing with police in the center of Rotterdam.

    Several large explosions could be heard as the police fired tear gas at the rioting fans and mounted police officers charged towards the misbehaving supporters. Eventually water cannon trucks were brought in to disperse the Feyenoord fans.

    To add salt to the wound Ajax tweeted footage from inside the Amsterdam Arena showing jubilant Ajax fans rejoicing and laughing as the goals went in for Excelsior.

    Gianni Van Bronckhorst's side take on Heracles Almelo at home next week while Ajax travel to Tilburg to play Willem II.

    In contrast, Spartak Moscow clinched their first title since 2001 but there were no scenes of violence in the city, despite the result being a major blow to their fierce rivals CSKA.

    Spartak appointed Italian Massimo Carrera last summer and he has brought success to the famous old club at the first time of asking.

    A BBC documentary earlier this year has been criticized for tarnishing Russia's reputation ahead of next year's World Cup.

    Former English football hooligan Dougie Brimson told Sputnik in February that it was part of a campaign to discredit Russia, because they had been awarded the tournament rather than England.

    Dutch football has been plagued with a hooligan element for many years.

    The fiercest rivalry has always been between Feyenoord and Ajax although several other clubs — notably Den Haag and Utrecht — also have notorious hooligan "firms."

    Feyenoord's most famous hooligan supporters are known as the SCF — which simply stands for Sport Club Feyenoord — and frequently clash with Ajax's F-Side crew. In 1974, the SCF were involved in a notorious clash with English club Tottenham Hotspur's fans during and after the UEFA Cup Final. In 1982 SCF fans threw a bomb at rival supporters after a match in Alkmaar.

    But the most notorious incident of all was the so-called Battle of Beverwijk in March 1997. SCF and F-Side hooligans agreed to meet up for a pre-arranged fight at a motorway service station near Beverwijk. But while only around 50 thugs turned up from Amsterdam, hundreds arrived from Rotterdam and the Ajax fans were forced to run for their lives.

    Both sides were armed with baseball bats, knives, electric cattle prods and claw hammers and the resulting violence led to dozens being injured and 25-year-old Carlo Picornie, an Ajax fan, being killed.

    In 2009, the Dutch parliament introduced new laws designed to crack down on the hooligans.

    Violence is mainly associated with club football in Holland, rather than the national team, who are expected to miss out on qualification for next year's World Cup anyway.

    In April, English fans of Leicester City clashed with police before a match in Madrid, Spain.

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    Tags:
    football game, clash, football fans, sports, hooligans, violence, fight, football, World Cup 2018, FC Feyenoord, Rotterdam, Europe, Netherlands
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