8 Feyenoord fans arrested after violent clashes break out in Tirana
Tirana, May 24, 2022 (AFP) - Violent clashes broke out in Tirana on Tuesday night ahead of the Conference League final between Roma and Feyenoord, as Dutch fans stabbed a local man and injured six police officers, police said.
Eight Feyenoord fans were arrested for brutally beating and stabbing an Albanian man who was taken to hospital, police said in a statement.
A group of around 200 Feyenoord fans also clashed with the police while trying to reach the area where Roma fans were located, police said.
"Six police officers were injured by rocks and batons in the Dutch fan zone and in front of the police station," Albanian police spokesman Genti Mullai told AFP.
Rival fans clashed in at least three locations in Tirana, as seen by an AFP reporter.
Although the venue for Wednesday's final, the National Arena in Tirana, has the capacity of only 21,000 seats, it is expected that a total of around 100,000 fans of both teams will come to Albanian capital for the game.
According to local authorities, fans will be divided into separate fan zones and will be able to watch the final on giant TV screens.
Prior to the incidents, Albanian police said they have deployed 2,000 officers to ensure the match will be "transformed into a day of celebration".