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Serbia fans held after clashes ahead of England match

Simon Stacpoole/Offside / Offside / Getty

Seven Serbia fans were taken into custody on Sunday after scuffles broke out in the German city of Gelsenkirchen ahead of the team's Euro 2024 match against England, police said.

A complaint for dangerous bodily harm was filed against one of the fans, a police spokesman told AFP.

Details of what happened and of any injuries were still unclear, the spokesman said.

Police earlier reported having to separate England and Serbia fans after clashes between the two sets of supporters.

However, the spokesman said no England fans had been taken into custody.

The German Bild daily published images showing an altercation on the terrace of a restaurant, with chairs being thrown around.

Several people were injured and a group of England supporters were arrested in a nearby pub, the report said, without giving numbers.

An AFP journalist saw broken glass on the restaurant terrace and witnessed a group of Serbian fans about to be escorted to an underground station by police.

Germany has deployed a large police presence to Gelsenkirchen in western Germany for the match between England and Serbia, which kicks off at 9:00 pm (1900 GMT).

Supporters at the match will also only be able to purchase reduced-strength beer, police said Friday.

A 2.5-percent "light beer" will be served in the stadium, with fans limited to two drinks at a time, a spokeswoman for police in the German city told AFP.

The decision for Sunday's match had been taken for "security reasons", the spokeswoman said.

England fans infamously clashed with supporters from Russia ahead of their match in Marseille, France, at Euro 2016, which saw running battles between hooligans.

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