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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Police Arrest 300 in Soccer Clashes

Soccer fans fought pitched battles in central Moscow on Saturday before a match and then clashed at the Luzhniki Stadium, leading to hundreds of arrests, police said.

Some 500 soccer fans first battled in the center of Moscow, fighting ahead of a game between Spartak Moscow and CSKA Moscow, the city's premier clubs and fierce rivals.

Fourteen youth were injured during the clash in Iliinsky Park, which was swiftly broken up by police, Interfax reported.

Fighting flared again at the stadium after Spartak scored the only goal of the game. A police spokesman said police had expected violence at the ground and had arrested 300 people on charges of hooliganism.

Television showed hundreds of fans first piling into each other, throwing punches and wielding the seats they had ripped up. The fans then separated into two groups and hurled seats at each other in a bright orange shower of flying chairs. Interfax said 2,597 of the stadiums 84,000 seats were destroyed. The game was attended by Moscow Mayor Yury Luzhkov, who was shown staring angrily in the direction of the violence.

The police later beat individual fans as they left the stadium, lashing at some of them with truncheons and punching young men without apparently knowing if they were hooligans or ordinary fans.

Spartak fans have the reputation as the biggest trouble makers in the Russian premier league. Spartak, champions for the past five years, were the most heavily fined club in the league last year due to fans' misbehavior, having to hand over more than $5,000.

Defending champion Spartak Moscow beat CSKA 1-0.