Top 10 Most Insane Soccer Riots In History

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Football (or soccer, as it’s known in the States) is the world’s most beloved game. From back alley matches to the World Cup, most everybody’s kicked a ball at some point, and its fans are some of the most dedicated in the world. “Hooliganism” sometimes goes too far, though, and the ensuing antics can make for a menacing scene — sometimes even a deadly one.

10. Millwall vs. Luton

Millwall-Luton

Fans began tearing seats out of the stadium and hurling them onto the field at a Millwall / Luton match in 2009. However, no longer content with smashing each other with shattered wood pieces in the stands, the fans soon stormed the field to resume their antics.  Officials and other staff fled as the spectators hurled projectiles at them relentlessly, and police were hugely outnumbered by the rioters.

9. Polish Football Riot

Polish-Football-Riot-2003

One man was killed, three were injured and police were stoned as fans went at each other with axes and knives at a 2003 match in Poland. 120 people were arrested following the fighting, which was so violent that the Polish national football association’s head, Michal Listkiewicz, blamed the insubordination on thugs “posing as fans.

8. Riot In Prague

czech-croatia-riot

Rioting erupted between Czech and Croatian fans, necessitating the involvement of riot police, and leaving innumerable fans bloodied, as fighting broke out in the city capital’s center square. Among the various projectiles exchanged between the rioters — which included bottles, rocks and flares — gunshots can be heard throughout the video footage.

7. Fenerbahce Riot

fenerbahce-riot

Police were hit with rocks, flares and plastic chairs during rioting in Turkey last May. Windows were smashed and streets were littered with debris while angry fans unleashed havoc, even turning over police cars and setting them on fire. The dispute wasn’t just contained to public demonstration; elsewhere in the country, a fan was stabbed by rival supporters. Law enforcement needed to use riot protection gear to shield the visiting players from the chaos.

6. Birmingham vs. Leeds 1985

Birmingham-Leeds-1985

In 1985, a Birmingham – Leeds match suddenly turned ugly, as the entire stadium erupted in rioting. Spectators from both sides stormed the field until police managed to clear the field. However, it soon filled with more rioters, who threw missiles at each other and trampled fences. They then began tearing apart wooden barriers in order to use the pieces as projectiles as well. Eventually police on horseback managed to force the rowdy spectators out of the grounds, where rioting continued outside.

5. 1974 UEFA Cup Final

1974-uefa-final-riot

Tottenham Hotspur vs Feyenoord in 1974 resulted in angry English fans rioting and ripping seats out of the stadium, throwing them onto the field and at each other. Dutch staff announced over the loudspeakers that Spurs fans were disgracing themselves and the game,  and they were banned from the city.

4. Greeks Set Fire To Stadium

greek-soccer-riot

Last year in Greece, fans erupted in vicious rioting before setting fire to the stadium. Several hundred people attempted to storm into the venue without tickets while fans, equipped with clubs, fire bombs made of gasoline and ammonia and flares, engaged in fighting with stadium police forces. When molotov cocktails began to get flung out onto the field, the referee called the game, at which point the rioting fans began lighting the stadium on fire until fire trucks entered the venue and extinguished the blazes…until the firefighters were also attacked by fans. All in all, 57 people were detained and the rioting was eventually pushed out of the stadium, where it continued outside. 9 police officers were injured in the episode.

3. Heysel Riot, Belgium

heysel-disaster

During the 1985 European Cup Final, rowdy Liverpool supporters began attacking Juventus fans, charging through a line of police to get at them. Juventus fans, in their panic, collapsed an entire stadium wall trying to escape them. The wall crushed dozens of spectators, and even more were trampled to death during the chaos. The official death toll was 39, with 350 injured and possibly more unreported cases.

2. Riots In Egypt

port-said-cairo

Rioting last year in Egypt at a Port Said-Cairo match resulted in some of the worst casualty counts in history as well as property damage throughout the city. Over 70 people were killed during the initial rioting, making it one of the deadliest football riots in history. Rioting and property damage continued following a court ruling that sentenced 21 to death for inciting the chaos. Some speculate that the perpetrators were hired thugs, and not just regular hooligans.

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26 Comments

  1. How can you put hillsborough in this list? Hillsborough was in no way shape or form a riot. It was an accident due to overcrowding. Families of the 96 victims have been fighting for years for the police to admit it wasn’t hooligan related.

  2. Hillsborough was NOT a riot; due to roadworks and to overzealous police checks, Liverpool fans arrived late at Hillsborough Stadium. With 5 minutes to go before kickoff there were still 15,000 or so fans outside. The police then opened an ‘exit’ gate to facilitate entry but did NOT place anyone inside to direct fans into corals. As a result, the Liverpool fans were herded into a single coral with no-one paying attention to the fact that the fans at the front were getting crushed. Fans trying to escape the crush were beaten back by police on the pitch while other police were still herding fans into the overcrowded coral. The picture you use does NOT show fans invading the pitch – it shows distressed fans being lifted into stands above to pluck them out of the crush.
    The 96 who died at Hillsborough suffered death which can be laid directly at the feet of the police and police incompetence.
    Also, what the popular press fail to report at Heysel is that, the year before, the Liverpool supporters were targetted by missiles, rocks and knives in Rome and the Juventus fans at Heysel started the riot by hurling rocks at the Liverpool fans again – also that Liverpool applied for the game to be played elsewhere as the stadium was not up to standard and that fans were mixed together by scalping tour companies who bought up tickets and sold them injudiciously.

    • Disgraceful piece of”journalism”, the simplest piece of investigating will have told you that the Hillsborough disaster was not hooliganism but evil crass policing.

      As was said, 96 people died, many children included in that number. Many were crushed to death by railings, with the pressure being so great that their faces had the paint off the railings imprinted on to their faces.

      Please remove this article and investigate it properly before posting again as you are perpetuating a lie which has lasted for years and justice is finally starting to be delivered

  3. The hillsborough disaster does NOT belong on this list. To insinuate that it was caused by hooliganism is unforgivable, I suggest you remove it soonest.

  4. I’d go crazy too if my national sport was soccer. Just imagining that makes me want to shoot someone.

  5. As a Liverpool fan I am pretty disgusted at putting Hillsborough as a riot. Can you please show some respect and either edit or remove this list, it’s completely unacceptable.

  6. Heysel, the facts are wrong, do ur research and as for Hillsborough I got a good reason to report this

  7. fenerbahcefan on

    Okey, I saw Fenerbahce riot, I was in the stadium last may. It wasn’t holiganism , it started because of police force. There weren’t even rival fans because of an deby agrement . After the match ended , we cheered for our team then suddenly Police started to using tear gas , that was the reason many fans jumped on the field . Then it’s getting out of control . All of them started because of police violence and nobody died.

  8. Seriously, i can not believe this is still up. Shall we start stating 9/11 was caused by the office workers in the Trade Centres? They set the explosives themselves?

    I won’t be using your page anymore.

  9. In America, we just make fun of Tony Romo. Soccer is soccer, dont call it football.. Call it riotball!

    • In the rest of the world, we call it football… and it’s been called that for a lot longer than American Football has even existed, so don’t try to steal the word. America is NOT the entire world, despite what most of its inhabitants think…

      Yeah, and don’t call it Riotball either – 9 incidents picked out of well over a thousand matches played every weekend across the world for more than 100 years, attended by millions of fans doesn’t justify that… If American Football were even a tenth as popular, I’m sure we’d see a similar number of “riots”

      (9 incidents, since as others have mentioned, Hillsborough should NOT be in this list…)

      • By “America” you mean Canada, Australia,South Africa,and NZ as well right?Because they call it soccer too.

  10. Hillsborough was NOT a riot. This needs taking down and seriously re-evaluating. It’s still an open wound for 99% of British football fans regardless of club affiliation and that entry comes across as offensive and badly researched. Shame on you.

  11. why has this list not been removed, if an administrator is reading these comments they should know that putting hillsborough on it is like putting 9/11 on a list of accidental plane incidents. no respect, very offensive

  12. Football hooligans?
    U obviously don’t do your homework
    Change this please
    Kind of insulting

    You need to learn respect
    Obviously you do no research
    Understand?:

  13. I won’t take any shots at soccer/football but I will ask what is up with these riots? Is it the outcome of the game? I saw someone mention longstanding family feuds, is that it? Boredom, poor crowd control, what?

    Europe and the rest of the world go absolutely NUTS over this game. Sure, Americans get sort-of violent at American football games but it’s usually a couple drunks getting in fist fights. Same for baseball. I don’t think I’ve ever heard of a riot at a basketball game.

    Hockey is a different matter, probably one of the most potentially violent sports out there. A major part of pro hockey strategy is to have a couple players who’s sole job it to start fights. Canadians can get pretty rowdy over it,

    I can sort of understand a crowd being crazy after a major win or loss in a final game of the tournament championship world cup way, which happens any time the Yankees and Red Sox play a World Series.

    I don’t get why soccer has such miserable fans.

    • Malice at the Palace(Pacers vs Pistons).Lots of riots have happened but not as often.I think there was a riot in LA after the Lakers won their last championship.But I guess our riots aren’t as large either.

  14. THIS IS THE MOST OFFENSE ITEM I HAVE EVER SEEN ON THIS SITE. Hillsborough was NOT a riot! if this item is not taken down or ammended by midnight I will never visit this site again. I may be just one person but I unlike the author of this terrible list have morals.

  15. This is the first time I visited this site and this will be the last. I don’t watch football and even I know of the terrible history behind Hillsborough. This is vile and cruel.

  16. You do need to take down this list or at least edit it. Hillsborough should not be on there. It’s a very sore spot for a lot o people. I’m quite dissapointed this issue hasn’t been addressed already with the amount of comments stating the same thing. Were are you toptenz master?

  17. snowmanvilla on

    disgraceful, the author should be ashamed. Hillsborough should not be on this list. take this down