Violence breaks out between fans ahead of England's opening Euro 2024 game against Serbia


Fans been involved in clashes ahead of the Three Lions’ game against Serbia.

Riot police swooped on supporters outside a bar in Gelsenkirchen as violence flared on Sunday afternoon.

Officers moved in after trouble erupted between Serbian and English fans outside a restaurant just after 3.30pm.

Tables, chairs and bottles appeared to have been hurled between two groups of fans with some England fans caught in the middle of the clash with one reportedly suffering a head wound.

One fan was pictured being led away with blood streaming down his face.

An eyewitness told MailOnline: “There was a sudden burst of violence. It came out of nowhere.

“It was unclear who started what. But to me it seemed liked a group of England fans rushed the bar where Serbs were drinking and it all kicked off with tables, chairs and bottles thrown.

“One man had blood pouring from a head wound - he was English I believe.”

It is believed Albanian fans may have launched the initial attack against arch-rivals Serbia, with a group of England fans getting caught up in the violence. But later Serbian fans clashed with England supporters.

German police said: “It was an altercation between English and Serbian fans, who were separated by police. Further measures are underway and the background is currently being clarified.”

In videos on social media, glass could be heard being smashed as police ran down a street in the centre of town.

Witnesses reported a group of masked men at the scene throwing bottles. Images showed several fans with blood pouring from wounds. One fan was curled on the floor being beaten when police intervened to save him.

Witnesses suggested Albanian fans first attacked Serbs. Before the tournament police were preparing for hundreds of Serbian ‘ultras’ fans notorious for their violence.

An estimated 40,000 England supporters are in Gelsenkirchen and neighbouring cities such as Dusseldorf and Cologne.

One English fan told MailOnline he had been drinking with Serb fans when a group of masked men launched an attack. One England fan suffered a head wound in the clashes.