UK & World News

  • 21 February 2013, 14:21

Spurs Fans Attacked By Gang In Lyon Bar

Three Tottenham fans were taken to hospital with minor injuries after a group of up to 50 masked thugs attacked a bar on the eve of Spurs' game in Lyon.

Eyewitnesses said the attackers smashed doors and threw cast iron chairs, wooden objects and a flare in to the Smoking Dog pub in Lyon.

Up to 150 Spurs fans were drinking in the bar, popular among ex-pats in the French city, ahead of tonight's Europa League match.

It is the second time that Tottenham fans have been targeted in apparent anti-Semitic attacks in the last three months.

In November, fans of the club, which has a traditionally strong Jewish following, were ambushed inside a pub in Rome on the eve of their game against Lazio.

Eyewitnesses inside the Smoking Dog said the thugs attacked the bar at 10.18pm on Wednesday night and then returned shortly after to launch another assault on the pub, which was damaged extensively as a result.

The pub's landlord, Dave Eales from Retford, said: "At 10.18 the pub was rammed with Tottenham fans watching the Champions League on the television.

"The front of the pub, which is made up of reinforced glass, was attacked by 20-25 people.

"They threw projectiles through the windows. There was a stand off. They didn't get in to the bar. Then it calmed down. Then they came back a second time and it all started again.

"There were three injured Tottenham fans taken away by ambulance. One of them had a head injury. I'm not sure how bad it was."

Far-right thugs were blamed for the knife attack on Tottenham's supporters in Rome and two eye-witnesses claimed the attack could have had an anti-Semitic motive.

One, who did not want to be named, said: "There were 50 who attacked in the first wave and 25 in the second.

"It's a pretty scary thing when you're confronted by people doing Nazi salutes."

Spurs fan Christian Radnege, who was in the bar at the time of the attack, said: "They came in making Nazi salutes. It was frightening."

Mr Eales, 42, said he had anticipated trouble may occur and that he had told the Lyon police as much earlier this week.

He added: "The most disappointing thing is that I spoke to the police a couple of days ago about the potential for trouble because of what people associate Tottenham being."

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We are aware of reports of an attack on British nationals in France and are offering consular assistance."

A Tottenham spokesman 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 and received prompt medical assistance.

"Spurs officials and stewards will be in the city throughout the day, along with matchday French police ahead of kick-off."

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