French police, Tottenham Hotspur officials and stewards were on the lookout for potential violence against UK fans in Lyon on Thursday, after three supporters were injured in what appeared to be an antisemitic attack on an English pub in the city.
The north London club said that three fans had suffered “minor injuries” in the incident on Wednesday night, when up to 50 masked thugs attacked the Smoking Dog pub, which was packed with Spurs supporters on the eve of their team’s second leg Europa League tie with Olympique Lyonnais.
It is believed one fan suffered a broken arm during the incident.
Eyewitnesses said the attackers smashed doors, and threw cast-iron chairs, wooden objects and a flare in the pub, which is popular with expatriates. Witnesses also claimed they made Nazi salutes. Firefighters, police and, according to some reports, even Spurs officials were forced to intervene.
A club statement on Twitter said: “Club officials attended an incident last night in Lyon. A group of around 50 people confronted fans. The situation was dealt with and arrests were made within the hour. Three fans sustained minor injuries & received prompt medical assistance.
“Spurs officials and stewards will be in the city throughout the day, along with match-day French police ahead of kick-off.”
It is the second time that Tottenham fans, who have strong Jewish support, have been targeted by an apparent antisemitic attack in the last three months. In November, one fan was stabbed and others hurt when ambushed in a pub in Rome on the eve of their game against Lazio.
A report published this week by the Jewish Community Protection Service (SPCJ) in France, said 22 antisemitic acts reported to the police in Lyon last year, the third worst for a French city after Paris and Marseille. Neighbouring Villeurbanne, part of the wider Lyon area also experienced 22 incidents, in what the SPCJ called “a year of unprecedented violence against Jews in France”.
Source: Guardian, UK More