BELGRADE (Reuters) - A 25-year old Red Star Belgrade fan was stabbed to death in fan violence before the team’s Euroleague basketball match at Galatasaray in Istanbul on Friday, the Serbian consul in the Turkish capital told Serbia’s state television (RTS).
“It was an act of hostility and a terrible tragedy ... I am distraught,” Zoran Markovic told RTS.
“We had been warning the Turkish authorities for two days prior to the game that it was going to be a high-risk match and we are now trying to make sure that all Red Star fans leave Turkey safely as soon as possible.
“I also wish to stress that the doctors fought like lions for the young man’s life after he was rushed to hospital, the resuscitation attempts lasted five hours but he died because he had lost too much blood.”
Trouble flared up outside the Abdi Ikpeci Arena in Istanbul before the match when around 400 Red Star fans arrived but were banned from entering, according to RTS.
Rival fans then clashed before riot police moved in with tear gas to quell the violence, the channel said while adding that Turkish media had reported that Red Star fans demolished several cars and shop windows in the area as they retreated.
Galatasaray won the match 110-103 in double overtime.
Writing by Zoran Milosavljevic in Belgrade; Editing by Greg Stutchbury