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Wednesday, 17 May, 2000, 15:08 GMT 16:08 UK
Teargas fired on fighting fans
Paul Dineen
Paul Dineen thought he had been punched until he saw blood
Fresh fighting has broken out in Copenhagen between Arsenal and Galatasary fans ahead of the Uefa Cup final.

Police fired teargas as hundreds of rival supporters fought running battles near the town hall.

Outdoor cafés were turned over as supporters hurled bottles, tables, chairs and sticks.

It follows trouble on Tuesday night when an Arsenal fan was stabbed in the back.

I thought I was going to die

Paul Dineen
Paul Dineen, 41, was recovering in hospital on Wednesday, saying he still wanted to go to the match.

The father-of-three, from Edgware, north London, said club executives had offered him a VIP seat at the game and the chance to fly home with the team if he was well enough.

Tensions are running high in the Danish capital with thousands more English and Turkish fans expected to arrive in the city for the match.

Two Leeds supporters were killed last month during skirmishes between Leeds and Galatasaray supporters in the Uefa Cup semi-final in Istanbul.

Fan kicked
Part of the Copenhagen street violence
Fans in other parts of the city had mingled peacefully on Tuesday and Wednesday.

But violence first flared on Tuesday night when riot police intervened after running battles between opposing fans.

Mr Dineen said at first he thought he had been punched when he was stabbed near Rosie McGee's bar, just off the Radhuspladsen square in the city centre.

He said: "There was pandemonium going on, bottles, glasses and bicycles being thrown around, and suddenly I felt what I thought was a punch in the back.

I was in unbearable pain

Paul Dineen
"Then I felt liquid - blood - and fell to the ground. I was in unbearable pain as my friends helped me, and I thought I was going to die.

Other fans took off their shirts to stem the flow of blood.

Mr Dineen also criticised Danish police, saying: "The policing last night was non-existent. On a high profile occasion like this you need firm but fair policing, with a lot of officers out and about, and I'm sure in Italy or France that would have happened."

Superintendent Flemming Munch, of Copenhagen police, said he understood Danish youths may have been involved in the trouble as well as English and Turkish fans.

But he said the violence had not changed the way they would police the match and he said there were no plans to close bars in the city centre. Five thousand Danish officers are on duty in the capital.

We had hoped this would not happen but are not shocked that it has

Copenhagen Police
A police spokesman said: "We had hoped this would not happen but are not shocked that it has, because it was something we had expected more or less. We hope for the best later today."

He said seven arrests had been made following Tuesday night's violence.

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See also:

17 May 00 | Football
Gunners told to keep calm
17 May 00 | Europe
Arsenal fans fear more violence
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