Armed gang storms pitch during amateur German football match and attacks players and supporters

Around 50 men invaded the field armed with guns and knives as an amateur football match in Germany descended into chaos

By Thomas Brooke
2 Min Read

An amateur football match in Germany was abandoned on Sunday after a gang of around 50 armed men stormed the field with guns and knives and attacked players and supporters.

The brawl occurred at the grounds of Al-Arz Lebanon in the western city of Essen during a match against RuWa Dellwig.

According to the hosts, a group of armed men ran onto the pitch toward the end of the first half of play and began attacking the players.

“This was the first time we’d seen these people on our site,” the club wrote in a post on social media.

“Suddenly, there were hunting scenes on the grounds,” it added, suggesting that an altercation at the train station earlier in the day had perhaps been a motive for the attack.

Around 150 police officers were dispatched to the scene, but the gang had fled before their arrival.

Officers recovered ammunition cartridges from the field suggesting firearms had been discharged, while two people were injured and treated for stab wounds.

The Essen Commissariat for Gang Crime has taken charge of the investigation.

Gang crime has become increasingly common in German amateur football in recent years.

A 15-year-old German was beaten to death by a 17-year-old Moroccan national during a youth tournament held in Frankfurt last year. The killer avoided an immediate custodial sentence, instead being handed a suspended two-year prison term.

In October last year, one football club that prides itself on recruiting players with a migration background terminated the membership of three team members after players and fans of the club rioted during a league match and physically assaulted the referee and opposition players.

And in August, a football coach was hospitalized after being attacked by an 18-year-old footballer he had kicked off the team who had rounded up a 40-strong migrant mob to beat him up outside a Berlin café.

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