Pitchside TV pundits attacked with a chair, hooligans pummelling a fan on the pitch and ‘ultras’ in black storming the field while stars flee: European cup final marred as riot police are overrun

The Czech Cup final was marred with ugly scenes of violence between supporters of Sparta Prague and Viktoria Plzen after fans rushed the pitch after the final whistle at the Doosan Arena. 

After claiming the Czech First League championship before the final match of the season, Sparta swiped domestic cup honours during the testy 2-1 clash, completing the double for the first time in a decade. 

The visitors took the lead late on through Sampson Dweh’s own goal, but despite going a man down after Pavel Sulc’s 85-minute red card, Plzen clawed their way onto the scoresheet via a late equaliser from Tomas Chory in the 87 minute. 

But just four minutes later at the start of added time, Sparta broke their hosts’ hearts when Veljko Birmancevic scored the eventual match-winning goal. 

As per reports in Czechia, the match had been flagged by local police as a ‘high-risk’ and reinforced with strict security measures. 

The aftermath of the Czech Cup final was marred when supporters from both sides rushed on

Fans brawled in ugly scenes on the turf minutes after the final whistle at the Doosan Arena

Fans brawled in ugly scenes on the turf minutes after the final whistle at the Doosan Arena

Police in the area had previously classified the contest as 'high risk' and brought in back-up

Police in the area had previously classified the contest as ‘high risk’ and brought in back-up

But after full-time – and the confirmation of Sparta’s impressive double – fans from both clubs made their way onto the pitch. 

Both Sparta and Plzen fans sported masks and hoods as they made their way across the turf and began fighting one another, with images from the night showing one picture of two fans in Plzen’s red and blue beating up a prone travelling fan lying on the grass. 

According to iSport, beer cups were hurled through the air as police dressed in riot gear began to encircle the groups of disorderly supporters and line the stands in an attempt to clear the field and see the winners announced. 

‘In view of the fact that the organising service failed to prevent the fans of both teams from entering the playing area, we had to enter the playing area in order to restore public order, mitigate the escalation and prevent the fans of both teams from attacking each other,’ regional police spokesperson Pavla Buresova told iRozhlas

Presenters from Czech Television were even set upon while broadcasting pitchside, with a garden chair used for photographers on the sidelines lobbed at the three television hosts, including pundits Mario Holko and Vaclav Prochazka – who were forced to duck out of the way live on air. 

During the match, play had been interrupted a number of times due to crowd trouble, with the first disruption coming after the decision to disallow Ladislav Krejci’s goal for Sparta was met with fans throwing plastic cups onto the pitch in protest.  

Disorderly fans on both sides sported hoods and balaclavas in an attempt to hide their faces

Disorderly fans on both sides sported hoods and balaclavas in an attempt to hide their faces

Men were pulled away from scrapping with a fan lying prone on the grass after being attacked

Men were pulled away from scrapping with a fan lying prone on the grass after being attacked

Riot police lined the stands to protect fans - and stop more from flooding down onto the pitch

Riot police lined the stands to protect fans – and stop more from flooding down onto the pitch

Photographers' chairs, bins, and tables, as well as cups, were thrown from the terraces

Photographers’ chairs, bins, and tables, as well as cups, were thrown from the terraces

Plzen fans later set off a flare on the pitch in the second-half, which ground proceedings to a halt. 

After the pitch was cleared of unruly supporters, Sparta were able to carry out their trophy lift a full ten minutes after referee Ondrej Berka blew the final whistle. 

‘I wouldn’t want to comment too much,’ Sparta’s head coach Brian Priske said after the violence had subsided. ‘I think it was obvious what happened. 

‘I think the basis is for the players and the implementation teams to feel safe. And that wasn’t the case today after the final whistle, we didn’t feel safe on the pitch.

‘However, I would not like to comment further, because it is more up to you journalists to find out what and why actually happened.’

After the incident, Czechia’s Football Association, and organiser of the tournament said that they had made ‘every effort’ to see the event run smoothly. 

Their statement read: ‘In recent weeks, representatives of the association have repeatedly met with representatives of the fans, security managers and other officials of both clubs, and together they tried to set such measures that will contribute to the smooth progress of the final and the festive ceremony after the match.

‘We wanted to avoid indecent images that we don’t want to see in Czech football,’ the statement continued.

One fan taunted supporters in the stadium from pitch as flares were set off to cloud the air

One fan taunted supporters in the stadium from pitch as flares were set off to cloud the air

Presenters covering the match for Czech Television were targeted with a flying plastic chair

Presenters covering the match for Czech Television were targeted with a flying plastic chair

The reporters attempted to dodge the live missile and continue broadcasting pitchside

The reporters attempted to dodge the live missile and continue broadcasting pitchside

Within ten minutes, the fans had been cleared but remnants of the fracas remained on display

Within ten minutes, the fans had been cleared but remnants of the fracas remained on display

But with victory confirmed, players could finally enjoy their triumph and celebrate a dazzling end to their 2023-24 campaign.  

‘Sparta fulfilled all my dreams,’ said captain Krecji after full-time. ‘It’s a beautiful feeling, a reward for the work we do. 

‘It’s because we have our own mentality and style of play. We don’t give up and we fight until the end.’

The two sets of fans will meet again on Sunday to play out the final match of the season, this time at Sparta’s Epet Arena in Prague. 




Source From: Football | Mail Online

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