A group of Irish football fans have accused GNR police of being the “the scum of the earth” after an alleged “unprovoked attack” in the Oura bar strip of Albufeira in the early hours of yesterday morning (September 3).
“Albufeira police are the worst I’ve ever seen. Clubbing innocent girls in the face for sending texts because they thought they were videos,” wrote @GalwayGambler on Twitter, cited by Irish online newspaper Independent.ie.
“Have honestly never seen anything like what I saw tonight. Absolutely battering innocent bystanders. These guys are less than nothing IMO,” the fan wrote, before adding that “nothing will happen because it’s a closed shop over here but these pr*cks deserve jail time. Scum of the highest order.”
Police deny the brutality claims, saying the fans had been “drinking and were clogging the road and throwing objects at passing cars”.
An official GNR statement guarantees that their warnings for fans to stop were mostly ignored, and thus agents had “no choice” but to call for backup and use force to disband the group.
They denied using “brute or inappropriate force” and said they were not able to identify or arrest any of the fans as they were “too many for too few” police agents.
The over 100 fans had travelled to the Algarve to see their national football team take on Gibraltar in today’s Euro 2016 qualification match, and were out in the town’s popular bar strip when they say they were attacked out of nowhere.
“We came out of a pub and were standing on the strip. There were loads of Ireland fans on either side of the road singing back and forward to each other,” an Irish fan named only as James told Independent.ie, showing wounds to his arm and ear after the incident.
Everything went pear-shaped when police arrived to move the fans on.
“They were grabbing women and throwing them, they started pushing everyone. I saw one lad who was pushed and he fell and just missed a pole,” James told the newspaper.
He said police even attacked fans who were “putting hands up to say they didn’t want any trouble”.
“I fell and got hit on the back. I ran and a cop chased me down the road and cracked me on the back of the legs again. I went down with my hands on my head and an Irish guy came and dragged me away.
“I lost my shoe and when I was putting it back on another cop hit me across the head. I am going to the doctor today to get it seen to.”
The fan was adamant that the attack was unprovoked: “We were literally just standing there, talking. It was extremely heavy-handed stuff.”
For now it remains to be seen whether fans take legal action. Most of them will be busy later this afternoon supporting Ireland at the Algarve Stadium.