Fri, May 16, 2008 - Page 23 News List

Russian soccer fan knifed outside Manchester arena

AFP , MANCHESTER, ENGLAND

A Russian soccer fan was stabbed outside the stadium hosting the UEFA Cup final between Zenit St Petersburg and Scottish club Rangers on Wednesday, police said.

The fan suffered minor injuries in the attack near the City of Manchester stadium and six men were arrested in connection with the attack.

A spokesman for Greater Manchester Police said: “Six Rangers supporters were arrested at the stadium after a Russian fan was stabbed in the back prior to kick-off. His injuries are not life-threatening.”

In a different part of the city in northwest England, 30 people were arrested after Rangers fans clashed with riot police while their team was losing 2-0 to the Russian club.

The angry scenes came after a giant TV screen set up to show the match in Piccadilly Gardens in the center of Manchester failed to work, outraging thousands of fans who did not have tickets for the stadium.

Fans spilled out into the streets and the mood became tense when disgruntled supporters were unable to watch the game.

A police spokesman said a small number of supporters who had been largely well-behaved started to pelt the screen with beer bottles.

A “significant minority” of fans then began to confront officers and throw bottles.

“A number of people were arrested during the disorder at Piccadilly. A number of people, including police officers, were injured as officers brought the disorder under control,” the police spokesman said. Police said the majority of the estimated 100,000 fans who had traveled to Manchester had behaved impeccably.

Rangers were bidding to become the first Scottish team to win a European trophy for 25 years, but Zenit triumphed with two second-half goals to become the second Russian winner of the trophy in four years.

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