Malta Independent

Belgian football league bans visiting fans following violence

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Visiting soccer fans will be banned from games in Belgium until the end of the year after two matches were marred by violence over the weekend, the Belgian league said Monday.

Flares were thrown at the two games and some rowdy fans ran on to the field in what the league called "unacceptab­le and even criminal behavior."

Visiting fans will now be kept away from league games in the two top divisions and from the quarterfin­als in the Belgian Cup.

"The measure amounts to a cooling off period," the Belgian league said in a statement.

The match between Standard Liege and Charleroi was stopped in the 88th minute after Standard fans threw flares and took to the field, with their team trailing 3-0 at home.

Video footage showed Standard fans approachin­g the stand where Charleroi supporters sat and throwing projectile­s in their direction.

Crowd trouble also marred the match between Beerschot and Antwerp, where one Beerschot fan threw a flare into a stand of Antwerp supporters.

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