Basketball: Police, fans injured in Serbia basketball match

Nineteen people, most of them policemen, were injured and 26 others were detained as basketball fans clashed with police during an European match in the Serbian capital, Belgrade, the interior ministry said Thursday.

"Seventeen police officers and two fans were injured in incidents... while 26 fans were detained" at the Eurocup match between Red Star Belgrade and Galatasaray of Turkey on Wednesday evening, a spokesman told AFP.

One policeman was taken to hospital, he added.

The incident occurred when Red Star fans, angry at not being able to enter the fully packed sports hall, attacked the police.

Galatasaray eventually won the match 91-74.

Serbian sports fans have a bad reputation for hooliganism, creating a major image problem for the government.

In September 2009 a French football supporter was beaten to death in Belgrade by fans from a rival team. Last year 14 fans were sentenced to between four and 15 years in prison for his murder.

In October 2010 hundreds of hooligans clashed with police securing a gay pride parade in the city in a series of violent attacks that left several dozen injured on both sides.

Just two days later hardcore Serbian hooligans clashed violently with Italian police after a Euro 2012 football qualifier against Italy in Genoa was abandoned after just six minutes following crowd trouble.

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