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Shenhua-Hangzhou aftermatch rumpus was “revenge attack” says ultra

The rumpus seen from an elevated position

An outbreak of violence between Shenhua Shenhua and Hangzhou Greentown fans which erupted a few blocks away from Hongkou stadium last Wednesday was in retalitation for an incident at last year’s  Hu-Hang derby in Hangzhou which left several Shenhua fans requiring hospital treatment, a Shenhua ultra told .

Hundreds of riot police arrived at the scene after a Hangzhou supporters bus was attacked on Dalian Road after the match which Shenhua won with a last-minute goal.

Hangzhou is little more than 90 minutes drive from Shanghai and its club, Greentown, has emerged as Shenhua’s main derby rival since it was promoted to the Chinese Super League in 2006. Relations between the fans have deteriorated considerably since Hangzhou drew with Shenhua on the last day of the 2008 season to prevent Shanghai winning its first Chinese Super League title since 2003.

The after-match fighting caught the attention of the Shanghai Daily, which, as usual, continued its habit of only reporting on its local club  when something goes wrong. In a laughably badly written report, which described the disorder as a “massive gang fight”, the English language newspaper reported:

After a persuasion, the conflict was solved early this morning with the last bus of the Hangzhou fans leaving at 0:40am.

And just to prove that Shanghai Daily’s sub-editors don’t care enough about the city’s local team to bother editing stories about them properly, the report continued:

Although neither of the teams is impossible to win the season’s championship, the match between the two was still a fierce and eye-catching one as always, which was dubbed Yangtze Delta Derby. With a better economic support, Lucheng purchased many core players from Shenhua these years, which made the latter’s fans more mad at them.

A bloodied Shenhua fan

According to a source inside one of Shenhua’s ultra groups, a group of Shenhua fans threw bricks at a Hangzhou Greentown fan bus as it was travelling along Dalian Road not far from Hongkou Stadium after the match. It’s unclear why normally-tight security was unable to prevent the violence, but the bus stopped and and maddened Hangzhou fans spilled out and began attacking anyone nearby who was in a blue Shenhua jersey. This included many innocent passers-by who had nothing to do with the attack. However, riot police soon arrived on the chaotic scene and restored order.

“They attacked the bus as revenge for what happened to our main man last year. The best thing is, no Shenhua fans were arrested,” joked the source, and added, “I don’t agree with the fighting but Hangzhou had it coming a long time.”

The source said, “Anyway, I’m just glad we have a proper local rival again, after Inter Shanghai moved to Xian a few years ago.”

A Hangzhou fan was left with a fractured leg after the incident, and several other fans from both sides were injured but there was no further information as to the number and extent of the injuries.

A leading international commentator on Chinese football frequently quoted by the world's top media. Offers piercing and resolutely honest insights into the bustling crossroads where football, society, economics and politics meet in contemporary China. Based in Shanghai since 2005, observer of the Chinese game since 2000.



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