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Police clash with fans leads to arrest of 50 individuals at Croatia Cup semi-finals

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Authorities disclosed that over 50 individuals were apprehended, and a minimum of three police officers had to be taken to the hospital following confrontations between football enthusiasts and law enforcement in the coastal town of Split, Croatia, on Thursday.

The altercation erupted late on Wednesday after supporters of Hajduk Split stormed the pitch following their team’s 0-1 defeat to Dinamo Zagreb in the national cup semi-finals.

As indicated in a police report, members of Hajduk Split’s radical fanbase, recognized as the Torcida, made attempts to assault the visiting team and their fans, culminating in a clash with stadium security.

Following their retreat to the stands, the violence spilled over into the streets surrounding the football stadium, where “numerous gatherings resorted to attacking the police by hurling flares, bottles, rocks, and various objects,” the statement indicated.

Notably, the statement confirmed that three officers required hospital treatment, though it did not elaborate on the extent of their injuries.

Moreover, a police vehicle sustained damage, and a total of 51 individuals were detained, with firefighters summoned to extinguish fires ignited in nearby dumpsters.

Expressing strong disapproval of the incident, Split’s mayor, Ivica Puljak, denounced the violence, stating that there was “no excuse for such actions.”

On Facebook, he expressed, “I deeply regret the distressing scenes and trust that they will be not repeated in our city.”

Croatia displays a fervent enthusiasm for football, highlighted by the national team achieving the status of World Cup runner-up in 2018.

Similar to many nations across the Balkans, Croatia contends with a historical issue of hooliganism at matches, with groups such as Dinamo Zagreb’s Bad Blue Boys and Hajduk Split’s Torcida being recognized as major offenders.

AFP

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