WATCH: Zim soccer fans beat up policeman

2016-08-16 14:58
File: AFP

File: AFP

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Bulawayo - This is the horrifying moment when an angry football fan in Zimbabwe's second city of Bulawayo beat up a police officer with a police shield, leaving him apparently unconscious.

Fans streamed onto the pitch at Barbourfields Stadium on Sunday afternoon, apparently angry after one of their own had been set upon by police with truncheons after he threw missiles onto the pitch.

Riot police, wearing the blue helmets that are seen at almost every anti-government protest, are filmed retreating with their dogs as the fans pelt them with stones. The crowd cheers and whistles as the police run towards the VIP section. But one officer doesn't get away in time.

He's set upon by a group of fans, with one man in particular seen hitting him several times with the policeman's shield. Eventually the fan runs off and a man comes to the officer's aid, dragging the apparently unconscious man back onto the pitch to loosen his clothes. 

Watch the video below. 

Early tweets on the attack suggested the officer had been killed. He's since been confirmed as having suffered only minor injuries.

The Chronicle said that "some arrests" had already been made.

On social media, there was widespread condemnation of the attack, which comes just three months after police were filmed being chased and stoned by fans at another football match in Rufaro Stadium in the capital Harare. 

Tweeted @BusieBhebhe: "Eish but why? Why do people take their love for sport beyond the love for human life? Hayi man". The Sunday News, Bulawayo's regional state-controlled Sunday paper, asked what should be done to stop hooliganism at football matches.

Reader VeleMpini posted on Chronicle: "You forget these same cops tear gassed kids in Makokoba some few weeks ago."

But others have seen in the brutality of the attack a reflection of the anger of Zimbabweans against the police force, which is overwhelmingly loyal to President Robert Mugabe and has itself been accused of brutality against ordinary citizens.

A video showing Zimbabwe riot police beating people in their custody after a national shutdown went viral last month.

Read more on:    robert mugabe  |  zimbabwe  |  southern africa

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