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Police arrest 47 after Ajax celebrations turn violent

Written by: Staff
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AMSTERDAM, May 9 (Reuters) Dutch police arrested 47 people late night after celebrations of Ajax Amsterdam's Dutch Cup final victory deteriorated into widespread brawls.

Police said today they would study video footage to identify those responsible for the clashes in which police were pelted with stones and Ajax fans turned on each other as official celebrations drew to a close.

Those arrested were charged with violence against police and vandalising property.

''Police tried to break up the fights but the violence was then directed at them,'' a police spokesman said. Riot police eventually dispersed the crowd with a water cannon.

Ajax Amsterdam beat champions PSV Eindhoven 2-1 in the final on Sunday, with a goal in injury time by Klaas-Jan Huntelaar.

Soccer hooliganism in the Netherlands is focused around local clubs rather than the national team.

Last month Rotterdam police arrested around 800 Feyenoord fans after a defeat by Ajax and in February about 70 Ajax fans attacked an ADO Den Haag fan base and stabbed two ADO fans.

Germany, which hosts the World Cup next month, has said hooliganism is its greatest concern.

At the last major soccer tournament held in Germany, the 1988 European Championship, there were serious problems involving Dutch, German and English fans.

REUTERS PG BD1755

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