Manchester City playing against Club Brugge KV in the Champions League. Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images
A Belgian-based Manchester City fan is in a serious condition in hospital after being attacked following Tuesday’s Champions League match at Club Brugge.
The Blue Moon Belgium supporters group posted a message on Wednesday stating one of its members, since named in Belgian media as Guido DP, was set upon in a car park following the game in which City beat the Belgian champions 5-1.
Police in Belgium have confirmed that five people have been arrested in relation to the incident.
Reports say the man was rushed to intensive care at the AZ Maria Middelares hospital in Ghent following the incident, which occurred after the group stopped in Drongen on their journey home from Bruges.
The post, written by one of the group’s officials, whose father was the victim, read: “My father was cowardly attacked for his City scarf at a stopover in Drongen. We hope the perpetrators are found and punished.
“We were everywhere in England and the rest of Europe, never aggression. We come to Belgium once and you will be left for dead.
“Keep on fighting daddy. City love, Jurgen.”
What has been said by Belgian police?
A statement from local police in Belgium read: “Last night around 10.40 pm an incident took place in the parking lot of the E40 Drongen towards Brussels.
“A man wearing a Manchester City scarf had stopped his car at the highway parking in Drongen after the Club Brugge – Manchester City football match and had gone to the shop. According to the first findings of the investigation, his football scarf was taken in the shop by a suspect and he walked outside with it.
“Subsequently, the victim came into confrontation with some suspects in the parking lot, and ended up on the ground after physical aggression.
“The emergency services arrived on the scene. The victim, a 63-year-old man from Ninove, was taken to hospital. He is in mortal danger.
“There were a number of witnesses to the facts.
“Due to these facts, the police arrested five people during the night. They were arrested by order of the East Flanders Public Prosecutor’s Office. The investigation is in full swing.”
What has the reaction from the football clubs been?
Both clubs have condemned the attack.
A statement from the Premier League champions said: “Everyone at Manchester City is shocked and saddened to hear reports of an attack on one of our supporters after the Champions League game in Bruges last night.
“We are currently working with our counterparts at Club Brugge as well as Belgian and Greater Manchester Police to establish more information.
“Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the family and friends of the Belgian based supporter, who remains in hospital.”
The Belgian club said in a statement : “Club Brugge was horrified to learn of the events at the E40 motorway parking lot in Drongen where a Manchester City supporter, who had previously been a guest at the Jan Breydel Stadium, was attacked.
“Club Brugge strongly disapproves of all criminal behaviour, both inside and outside the stadium and puts tolerance first. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the Manchester City supporter.”
What have the Manchester City players said?
The club’s players took to Twitter on Wednesday to send their best wishes to the injured supporter.
England defender Kyle Walker wrote: “This is heart breaking to read, my thoughts and prayers go out to this man and his family.”
Midfielder Fernandinho said: “Sad to hear that. Get well soon mate”, while goalkeeper Zack Steffen added: “Sending my best wishes to the supporter involved. Get well soon!!”