Outside of Hongkou Football Stadium last night, a good-old fashioned football hooligan fight involving hundreds of Shanghai Shenhua (上海申花) and Hangzhou Greentown (杭州绿城) supporters went down, and had to be dispersed with a massive turn out of police force. Argentinian Luis Salmerón of Shenhua scored a stoppage-time goal to clinch the game 3-2 for the home side, sending the crowd into a frenzy. However, the evening would end with dozens of rival football supporters on both sides receiving injuries and drawing blood.
Reports currently circulating on Weibo claim that around 11pm, a group of Greentown fans were on a bus on East Tiyuhui Road (东体育会路), and got off the bus after seeing a bus full of Shenhua fans. The Hangzhou supporters then surrounded the Shenhua fans’ bus, eventually drawing Shenhua fans off the bus, and then instigating a melee. Around 20 police vehicles had to be called out to quell the football-fueled fisticuffs, and at least one armored riot vehicle was also employed.
It’s not a surprise to hear that Shanghai and Hangzhou supporters got punchy, given that the two sides have quite a healthy bitter rivalry. It’s a mutual dislike borne of longstanding competition for regional supremacy, not to mention Hangzhou’s habit of poaching Shanghai’s best players with better-paying contracts in recent years.
Police have in their custody several individuals allegedly involved in the riot, and the investigation is ongoing.