Benfica fans' celebrations end in clashes with police
Lisbon, May 18 (IANS) Fans celebrated Benfica's victory of the Portuguese football league title all the way up until dawn on Monday, but the party was put to an unexpected end when some fans got carried away and started clashing with police.
Thousands of people packed into Lisbon's Marques de Pombal Square, waiting for hours for the scheduled arrival of the players at 1:30 a.m local time. Yet, shortly after celebrations started, police apprehended a group of fans for throwing bottles and stones at the crowds after 3 a.m.
Benfica's Brazilian player Anderson Luis da Silva denounced the riotous acts, stating that they do not reflect the behaviour of Benfica's real fans. He tried to call for calm, but in vain. Police officials told Portuguese media that 13 people were arrested, while unspecified numbers were wounded, but at least nine of them were security force personnel, reports Efe.
Club officials noted that the celebrations were initially scheduled to last until 3:00 a.m.
Benfica successfully defended the league title on Sunday after the draw against Vitoria de Guimaraes, a result that was enough to win the title thanks to Porto's draw, while the last week will not affect the title winning.