Rampaging Chengdu Blades football fans smashed up a Chongqing supporters' bus yesterday after the home team lost an acrimonious match to its bitter rivals.
The bus, which was empty at the time, was left with a gaping hole in its shattered windscreen and all its side windows broken. Stones and bricks used to break the windows lay in piles around the bus and seats were covered with broken glass. Because of the violence and difficulties in securing alternate transport, police detained around 60 frightened fans inside the stadium for almost three hours.
"They were tired and frustrated after a long day," said a witness inside the stadium with the Chongqing supporters. "Then when they saw what had happened to their bus they started to feel for their safety a little."
Earlier the two sets of fans, which have a recent history of violent confrontation, traded jeers and insults as Chongqing Lifan beat Chengdu 3-2 at the Chengdu Stadium.
One Chengdu player was sent off while Blades fans were left seething by two penalty claims turned down by the referee and a late winner.
After the game, about 1,000 Chengdu fans refused police attempts to clear the area around the away supporters' exit.
Riot police and military personnel equipped with shields and batons eventually moved local supporters out of the stadium grounds, but a large group continued to wait outside the gates of the stadium. As darkness fell, and Chongqing fans remained inside the stadium, most of the group drifted away.
Tempers among Chongqing fans flared when city police instructed them to return home on their wrecked bus. Police also said a second supporters bus, which had not been attacked, was not allowed to leave with its passengers until transport for the other fans was arranged.
"You are supposed to protect us, look what's happened to our bus," one irate fan yelled at police. Several supporters wielded sticks and poles, and two carried extendable fishing rods. When asked why they were carrying such implements, they gave no response.
"Chengdu people are so rude," said one Chongqing fan who gave his name as Joe. "Chongqing people are civilized. We are gentlemen."
Police eventually put the remaining fans on a military bus.
"There was no way they could have driven that bus back to Chongqing," said the witness. "The headlamps were smashed and the driver wouldn't have been able to see out the window. They would have all been freezing, too."
The two sets of fans clashed in an earlier Chinese Premier League match.
Chongqing supporters hurled rocks and bottles at departing Blades fans at a game in Chongqing in June.
Yesterday's win leaves Chongqing still stuck to the bottom of the CPL, China's top domestic league, on 24 points. Chengdu are four places above them in 12th, with 30 points.
For more photos of the incident, see QQ's gallery
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