Rival French and Dutch football 'ultras' settle old scores in violent clash

Two sets of ultras square up to each other in a remote woodland area on the outskirts of Rotterdam. Photo / YouTube.
Two sets of ultras square up to each other in a remote woodland area on the outskirts of Rotterdam. Photo / YouTube.

Two sets of ultras square up to each other in a remote woodland area on the outskirts of Rotterdam.

One is dressed from head to toe in black, the other distinguishable in white. Both are wearing gloves and hurling abuse, with the word 'hooligans' heard clearly as both groups bounce on the spot, ready to launch into a brutal assault.

This was the scene caught in shocking footage which took place last Saturday during an arranged 'revenge' fight between two rival gangs from France and Holland.

The 19 Dutchmen dressed in combat gear felt they had an old score to settle, dating back to November 30, 2006.

Nancy beat Feyenoord 3-0 in a UEFA Cup match, but the clashes that marred the occasion resulted in the Dutch side being thrown out of the competition.

The group stage game had to be stopped for half an hour because of trouble in the stands as Feyenoord fans tried to smash the glass barriers and threw seats at stewards.
It was the Dutch who progressed despite the loss, but UEFA later banished the Eredivisie outfit for their part in the skirmishes, as Tottenham received a bye in the last 32 tie.

But 10 years on, the scars of that shameful night have reopened away from the possibility of police intervention, as two sets of youthful, trained fighters reignited the feud between the two clubs in a forest.

Nancy were joined by a section of Strasbourg supporters to number 24 for a scrap that came with pre-agreed rules of engagement, with no weapons involved in the fight.

Following a minute-long tussle full of brutal kicking and punching, it was not surprising the French claimed victory, given they outnumbered their counterparts.

During the 2006-07 season, Feyenoord were originally charged £81,000 and handed a suspended sentence to play two matches in an empty stadium.

The decision was taken by UEFA's independent Control and Disciplinary board, but European football's governing body appealed the decision for a harsher punishment.

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