A 63-year-old Belgian Manchester City fan is in intensive care after being attacked, apparently by supporters of Club Brugge, dopo City’s 5-1 Champions League win at the Jan Breydel Stadium on Tuesday.
The incident occurred at a service station near Drongen at 10.40pm local time and the victim has been named by local media as Guido De Pauw. He had been to the game with his son Jurgen, as part of a contingent from the Belgium Blue Moon supporters club.
A post on Blue Moon Belgium’s Facebook page said: “Blue Moon Belgium fell victim to senseless (supporters’) violence last night. My father was cowardly attacked for his City scarf at a stopover in Drongen. We hope the perpetrators are found and punished. We were everywhere in England and the rest of Europe, never aggression. We come to Belgium once and you are left for dead. Keep on fighting daddy. City love, Jurgen.”
Belgium’s public prosecution service said five people had been arrested overnight and that an initial investigation indicated the victim’s scarf had been taken in the service station shop by a suspect who took it outside.
“Subsequently the victim came into confrontation with some suspects in the parking lot and ended up on the ground after physical aggression,” its statement said. “The emergency services arrived on the scene.” It said the man was in “mortal danger”.
City said they were “shocked and saddened to hear reports of an attack on one of our supporters” and were working with Club Brugge and Belgian and Greater Manchester police to establish more information. “Our thoughts and best wishes go out to the family and friends of the Belgian-based supporter, who remains in hospital,” the club said.
Club Brugge said they were “horrified” to learn of the incident and added: “Club Brugge strongly disapproves of all criminal behaviour, both inside and outside the stadium and puts tolerance first. Our thoughts go out to the family and friends of the Manchester City supporter.”
The Guardian has contacted AZ Maria Middelares hospital for comment.