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Violence mars Dortmund-Galatasaray match

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Violence mars Dortmund-Galatasaray match
Fireworks land among the Dortmund fans during the match. Photo: DPA
11:22 CET+01:00
UPDATE: Police, prosecutors and Borussia Dortmund were left dodging blame on Wednesday after two police officers and ten fans were hurt in the Dortmund-Galatasaray Champions' League clash on Tuesday night.

Police said they arrested several people before the match as crowds of around 1,400 Galatasaray fans made their way through Dortmund to the stadium, letting off large numbers of fireworks.

"Thugs and criminals like this don't deserve the name 'fan'," Dortmund police commissioner Gregor Lange told a press conference on Wednesday, the Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung (WAZ) reported.

"They're making the argument for the people who say that visiting fans shouldn't be allowed. People's lives were put in danger."

Two police officers were injured by the pyrotechnics.

Once they entered the stadium, the Galatasaray fans let off large numbers of bangers, flares and smoke bombs in the stands and there were repeated violent scuffles.

The visiting fans also started throwing fireworks and seats into the home fans' stand and 250 seats were destroyed in the north stand.

A Red Cross spokesperson said on Wednesday that ten people were hurt during the violence in the stadium, WAZ reported.

"We're extremely shocked," Dortmund director Christian Hockenjos said. "I hope that we can identify these people and bring them to account."

Head public prosecutor in Dortmund Birgit Cirullies accused the club of not doing enough to secure the stadium.

"These pyrotechnic arsenals weren't small enough to be concealed in people's body cavities," she said. "Fans ought to be searched four hours in advance. The club has to take on more staff and, for example, add another gate so that fans can be separated more effectively.

"We discussed this in a security conference but nothing was done about it. No-one has told me why."

Hockenjos responded that the prosecutors' security recommendations had been unrealistic.

Play had to be briefly suspended just after the second half began, as the Galatasaray supporters started throwing fireworks onto the pitch when Dortmund were taking a corner.

But the BVB players nevertheless brought home a 4-1 victory to complement their 4-0 win away in Istanbul two weeks ago, securing the club's place ahead of Arsenal at the top of Group D.

“It's really not OK, what was happening in the stands,” Dortmund defender Kevin Großkreutz told WAZ. “Throwing fireworks at total strangers is beyond the pale, it's unacceptable.”

“Of course you wonder how far those lads can throw things,” Dortmund midfielder Sebastian Kehl said. “You pull back a metre and watch out.”

Police said that they noted the personal details of everyone in the Galatasaray stand because of the large number of crimes that were committed.

They are following up on charges of attempted manslaughter, breach of the peace, and crimes under the explosives and freedom of assembly laws. Around 700 Turkish fans are being investigated.

But home fans tried to take justice into their own hands after the match was over, with masked groups attempting to push past police lines and attack the Galatasaray supporters.

Reinforcements had to be called in to keep the two groups apart with pepper spray and truncheons.

"Luckily no fans were hurt," police commander on the scene Edzard Freyhoff told the press conference. "We were lucky to get away with that."

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