At least fourteen Belgian football fans were arrested in the Netherlands after they defied an order by the town mayor banning them from coming to the city for a match on Thursday.
The arrests were made after local officials banned supporters of Antwerp FC from coming to the Dutch city of Enschede to attend an away match against AZ Alkmaar.
The decision was made in order to “maintain public order,” since other public events were also set to take place on the same night.
Four Belgians were arrested in the early evening, after they were found carrying sand-filled gloves, with a fifth also arrested with a baseball bat, according to VTM.
“To avoid cancelling the match, I have decided that the game can only be played without an audience,” a statement by Enschede authorities reads.
But the announcement saw a few dozen Antwerp supporters defy the ban, with between 14 to 19 supporters arrested in total, according to different reports on local media.
To enforce the ban, the mayor reportedly granted police additional powers, with videos shared on social media showing a Belgian football fan being asked to leave in their vehicles.
The match on Thursday saw both football teams play in a near-empty stadium, cheered on by roughly 4,000 spectators in a stadium that can accommodate over 30,000.
The Brussels Times