Eight police officers in hospital after Amsterdam clashes

AMSTERDAM Wed Nov 6, 2013 5:06pm EST

AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - Eight police officers needed hospital treatment and more than 15 football fans were arrested following violent clashes ahead of Wednesday's Champions' League match between Scotland's Celtic and Dutch club Ajax Amsterdam on Wednesday.

A spokesman for Amsterdam police said a large crowd of Celtic supporters turned on a group of plainclothes police officers in Dam Square, the city's historic heart shortly before 1700 GMT.

"The officers took quite a beating," said spokesman Rob van der Veen. "One of the officers was unconscious, another had his nose broken."

Earlier on Wednesday, the mayor of Amsterdam issued an emergency order allowing the police to remove people they judged to be a threat to public order.

Dutch media reported that fans attacked the police with thrown bottles and sticks. News portal nu.nl reported that fans of Belgian club Anderlecht and Germany's St Pauli were also in the city.

Large numbers of Dinamo Zagreb fans are also in Amsterdam before Thursday's Europa League match against Dutch club PSV Eindhoven.

(Reporting By Thomas Escritt)

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