WARSAW (Reuters) - Croatian fans threw chairs, bottles and flares at Polish riot police in the city of Poznan as they clashed ahead of Sunday’s Euro 2012 game between Croatia and Ireland.
A police spokesman said three people were arrested after the incident in Poznan’s old town square, where thousands of Irish and Croatian fans, many clad in the national red-and-white checkerboard shirts, gathered ahead of the match.
The spokesman said it began after a clash in one of the bars between intoxicated fans of two rival Croatian teams from Zagreb and Split shortly after 5:00 pm (1500 GMT).
The police said it would examine closed circuit video from the centre square to identify additional culprits.
Croatia beat Ireland 3-1 in the Group C match.
Earlier on Sunday, Poland’s Interior Minister Jacek Cichocki said police had arrested nine foreign fans since the start on Friday of the tournament being co-hosted with Ukraine.
A website for one of the Polish newspapers said the police had also identified 12 Russian fans suspected of violence during their team’s opening 4-1 victory over the Czech Republic.
The Russian soccer federation and the national team on Sunday urged their fans in Poland to behave after some supporters threw fireworks, displayed illicit banners and beat up one of the volunteers at the stadium.
Reporting by Piotr Pilat and Dagmara Leszkowicz; Writing by Chris Borowski; Editing by Ken Ferris