Polish soccer club ordered to play 8 games without fans

WARSAW, Poland (AP) Lech Poznan has been ordered to play eight games next season without spectators because of rioting and brawling by fans.

The order on Monday involved Lech Poznan’s first five matches in the top Polish league, and its first three games in the Europe League, said Zbigniew Hoffmann, the governor of Wielkoposka, the region in Western Poland which encompasses the city of Poznan.

Lech Poznan fans threw flares onto the pitch as the team was losing to visiting Legia Warszawa 2-0 on Sunday, prompting the referee to stop play in the 77th minute. As the flares gave off dark smoke, fans began pushing against the fence and a few dozen appeared on the pitch.

Some 200 riot police intervened, pushing the troublemakers back into their sector, but did not make any arrests.

Legia Warszawa was credited with a 3-0 victory and declared winner of the Ekstraklasa.

Legia fans celebrated victory in the historic center of Warsaw on Monday, with colorful smoke rising from a cheering crowd as the players were presented medals.

Police on Monday said the event was secured by 1,400 officers, one of whom was injured when he was pushed against the fence. Police were trying to identify the perpetrators, some of whom had their faces covered, according to Roman Kuster, a deputy police commander for Wielkopolska.

Prime Minister Mateusz Morawiecki wrote on Twitter that he expects security services to take ”decisive action against stadium hooligans.”