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Saturday, 27 July, 2002, 23:30 GMT 00:30 UK
Arsenal match abandoned
Arsenal's match with Rapid Vienna was abandoned
The match was abandoned with the score 0-0
A friendly match between Arsenal and Rapid Vienna was abandoned after a disturbance between home fans and the police.

The game was halted in the 69th minute with the score 0-0, and the referee chose not to restart.

There were 11,000 spectators in the ground, but only a small minority was involved in the disturbance.


Unless there are certain guarantees of an improvement in safety, I will implore the club to return home
Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger

Rapid president Rudolf Edlinger made an official apology to Arsenal, with the Austrian club vowing that any of the perpetrators who could be identified would be banned for life.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger admitted he feared for his players' safety amid the violent scenes in the stands and may be forced to withdraw his team from the rest of the Austrian tour.

He said: "I was concerned from the moment we came into the ground.

"I sensed that this was an extremely hostile atmosphere and the lack of security was extremely worrying.

"There appeared to be no protection for the players of each side, people could just wander around the place with no restrictions.

"I had been warned beforehand that the Vienna fans had a reputation for getting nasty, but this was a pre-season friendly. I never expected anything like this to happen.

"This is a totally unacceptable face of football and there is and remains no place for it in the game.

"Arsenal football club will not put the safety of players and officials at risk.

"Unless there are certain guarantees of an improvement in safety, I will implore the club to return home."

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