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Czech police detain 31 in rioting ahead of England qualifier

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Czech police detain 31 in rioting ahead of England qualifier
Soccer Football - Euro 2020 Qualifier - Group A - Fans gather in Prague for Czech Republic v England - Prague, Czech Republic - October 11, 2019 A fan is arrested by police before the match REUTERS/Bernadett Szabo   -   Copyright  BERNADETT SZABO(Reuters)
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PRAGUE (Reuters) – Czech police detained 31 people for rioting near Prague’s historic Old Town Square on Friday ahead of the national team’s Euro 2020 soccer qualifier against England, the police said on their official Twitter account.

The authorities said they used force to detain a number of what they called “football hooligans”, including 14 foreigners. Pictures showed broken glass shattered over cobblestone streets in the area which is normally filled with tourists.

Several thousand England supporters were expected in Prague for the Group A match with Czech authorities saying there would be a heavy police presence.

Officials were also concerned ahead of the game due to the tens of thousands of Czechs expected to visit the city centre on Friday to pay their respects to pop singer Karel Gott, nicknamed the “Sinatra of the East”, whose body was lying in state.

(Reporting by Michael Kahn and Robert Muller, Editing by Ken Ferris)

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