Arrests After Gang Attacks Spurs Fans In Lyon

Three men have been arrested after three Tottenham fans were injured when a group of up to 50 masked thugs attacked a bar on the eve of Spurs' game in Lyon.

Rhone police prefect Jean-Pierre Cazenave-Lacrouts said they have detained three Frenchmen, one a member of a far-right organisation and the other two fans of Olympique Lyon.

Three English fans were hurt during the clashes between rival supporters. Seven people were slightly injured," Mr Cazenave-Lacrouts said.

Eyewitnesses said the attackers smashed doors and threw cast iron chairs, wooden objects and a flare into The Smoking Dog pub in Lyon.

Up to 150 Spurs fans were drinking in the bar, popular among ex-pats in the French city, ahead of the Europa League match, which ended in a 1-1 draw. Spurs won the tie 3-2 on aggregate.

It is the second time that Tottenham fans have been targeted in apparent anti-Semitic attacks in the last three months.

In November, fans of the club, which has a traditionally strong Jewish following, were ambushed inside a pub in Rome on the eve of their game against Lazio.

Eyewitnesses inside The Smoking Dog said the thugs attacked the bar at 10.18pm on Wednesday night and then returned shortly after to launch another assault on the pub, which was damaged extensively as a result.

The pub's landlord, Dave Eales, from Retford, said the pub was "rammed with Tottenham fans watching the Champions League on the television. The front of the pub, which is made up of reinforced glass, was attacked by 20-25 people."

He added: "They threw projectiles through the windows. There was a stand off. They didn't get in to the bar. Then it calmed down. Then they came back a second time and it all started again.

"There were three injured Tottenham fans taken away by ambulance. One of them had a head injury. I'm not sure how bad it was."

Far-right thugs were blamed for the knife attack on Tottenham's supporters in Rome and two eye-witnesses claimed the attack could have had an anti-Semitic motive.

One, who did not want to be named, said: "There were 50 who attacked in the first wave and 25 in the second.

"It's a pretty scary thing when you're confronted by people doing Nazi salutes."

Spurs fan Christian Radnege, who was in the bar at the time of the attack, said: "They came in making Nazi salutes. It was frightening."

Mr Eales, 42, said he had anticipated trouble may occur and that he had told the Lyon police as much earlier this week.

A spokesman for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office said: "We are aware of reports of an attack on British nationals in France and are offering consular assistance."

A Tottenham spokesman said: "Club officials attended an incident last night in Lyon.

"A group of around 50 people confronted fans. The situation was dealt with and arrests were made within the hour. Three fans sustained minor injuries and received prompt medical assistance."

He said Spurs officials and stewards would be in the city along with French police ahead of kick-off.