UEFA Champions League Final: A last-minute decision to relax COVID-19 safety rules for Saturday’s Champions League final in Porto has angered residents of the Portuguese city.
European soccer’s governing body UEFA moved the final between two English clubs, Manchester City and Chelsea, from Istanbul to Porto to allow English fans to travel to the match under COVID-19 restrictions.
Some Porto residents fear a spike in infections because of the highly contagious coronavirus variant spreading in parts of England after first being identified in India.
Others are upset that foreign fans can go into the stadium but locals have been banned from attending matches for months.
“If they open (the stadiums) for the English, they should open (them) for all,” said Alexandre Magalhaes, walking through Porto, which was packed with fans.
UEFA Champions League Final: Chelsea and Manchester City Fans Clash Again in Porto
English football fans were involved in fresh clashes on Thursday night after a similar incident occurred the night before. According to The Sun, the violent confrontations took place near Sao Bento railway station and Douro river in Porto city. Supporters fought with local police after the closing of bars at 10:30 pm local time.
UEFA Champions League Fina: Portuguese riot police had to disperse the violent crowd, after a second night of violence. Two people have been reported injured in the incidents. Videos of the skirmishes are also doing rounds on the internet. One of the clips on Twitter shows chaotic scenes. A road can be seen swarmed by police cars and the English football fans.
According to the local news reports, anti-social elements on both sides first threw chairs at each other at a pub despite the waiter trying to cool things down. Then the two groups took the brawl to the entrance of the railway station where they got into a brief fistfight. When the riot officers arrived at the scene, they found one man knocked down on the ground.