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Greenpeace disrupts Basel football match

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Greenpeace disrupts Basel football match
Photo: Fabrice Coffrini/AFP
11:18 CEST+02:00
Twenty-three people were injured amid clashes between supporters on the sidelines of a Champions League match in Basel interrupted by a Greenpeace protest, police said on Wednesday.

Twenty-seven people were also arrested at the game, including 17 Greenpeace campaigners taking part in a demonstration inside the stadium against sponsor and Russian energy giant Gazprom, police said.
   
Supporters of Switzerland's Basel and Schalke of Germany clashed outside the Saint Jakob-Park Stadium before the match began Tuesday evening, and local police intervened, using rubber bullets and teargas, police spokesman Andreas Knuchel told AFP.
   
"Police were between the two groups and were trying to avoid an escalation, and also to protect themselves," he said, adding "it was violent."
   
Three people were sent to hospital, but the extent of their injuries remained unclear, while nine others were treated on site for smaller injuries.
   
Another 11 people were also treated for cuts and bruises as well as discomfort related to drunkeness, police said.
   
Police had briefly detained 10 of the troublemakers, and had separately arrested 17 Greenpeace campaigners protesting inside the stadium against Gazprom.
   
Four of the protesters had briefly interrupted the match when, clad in orange jumpsuits, they abseiled from the roof of the stadium and unfurled a massive yellow banner reading "Gazprom, Don't Foul the Arctic," and "Free the Arctic 30".
   
The campaigners then climbed back onto the stadium's roof, allowing the game to continue.
   
Schalke, whose players wear the Gazprom logo on their shirts, won the match 1-0.
   
The four protesters and their fellow campaigners were detained by security staff on the roof of the stadium and were handed over to police, Knuchel said.
   
"Police checked their identities and released them," he said.
   
The Greenpeace protest came shortly after news that Russia would formally charge 30 Greenpeace activists detained there with piracy.
   
The crew of Greenpeace's Arctic Sunrise icebreaker was detained last month as they protested close to a Gazprom oil rig.
   
If found guilty, the activists could face a maximum punishment of 15 years in jail.

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