A number of Beijing Guo'an fans are alleged to have been arrested after smashing a luxury car belonging to a Tianjin resident during a near-riot after Saturday night's Chinese Super League soccer match.
The driver, a man, and his female companion were trapped in the car until police managed to intervene. It is not thought the couple was at the game.
The match kicked off at 7:30 pm on Saturday between Guo'an and Qingdao Zhongneng, from Shandong Province, and ended in a goalless draw at the Workers' Stadium, near Sanlitun, Chaoyang district.
Pictures and video posted online show the gray Jaguar surrounded by a pile of trash, including bottles and cans, its paintwork scratched and dented and windows smashed. A cordon of police and security officers is seen holding back hundreds of Guo'an fans, many of them wearing green and white, the club's colors.
Fans were heard shouting in a 40-second video, uploaded to Youku, "come out of the car, you bastard."
Hundreds of fans were said to be involved in the tumult after Zhongneng ended Guo'an's seven-match winning streak. The car targeted had Tianjin license plates, home of soccer club Tianjin Taida, one of Guo'an's biggest footballing rivals.
"I kicked the front-view mirror of the Jaguar once, but I'm not sure how it started; many fans were already throwing garbage and kicking it before we got there," said Guan Yi, a local Guo'an fan who was at the scene.
Guan said there were almost 40,000 in the stadium, mostly Guo'an fans. The fans could not deal with drawing with the bottom team in the league, he said, suggesting that passers-by should understand the fans' feelings and behave accordingly.
Earlier a beverage seller at the north exit of the stadium was "slightly hit for being insensitive," because he was wearing the other team's jersey, Guan said.
A local resident, surnamed Liang, said that he saw police detain three men and one woman, who was "cursing, shouting and kicking."
"At first there were four traffic police trying to stop the fans, but after the crowds became bigger and blocked the road, SWAT police with dogs came and separated people from the car," said Liang.
Yesterday, Zi Xiangdong, media officer from Beijing Public Security Bureau (PSB) refused to comment, saying "this is no good for publicity."
The PSB's official microblog yesterday advised that "people should keep cool during hot weather" following a report referring to the incident. This said there had been a dispute between a driver and passers-by on Gongti Xilu around 9:50 pm Saturday night in which a car's windows were smashed.
Yang Wei, a local resident who went to see a match between Tianjin and Guo'an in 2008 at Fengtai Stadium, Fengtai district, was not shocked the car was targeted.
"The [Guo'an] fans blocked the Tianjin supporters at the exit for over one hour, and smashed a Volkswagen that time," said Yang.
"Guo'an fans have a reputation of losing it and becoming violent after a tense game, and maybe it happened again because they didn't get severely punished," said Yang.
In China, a football club is liable for its fans' bad behavior if trouble occurs inside a stadium, but not outside, said Wu Jie, a sports journalist, from uschinapress.com.
"In April, Tianjin fans threw glow sticks and food onto the pitch at a match. The club was fined $7,500 and fans were banned from the following game," said Wu, who supports Guo'an.
On October 31, 2009, Guo'an fans smashed a black Mercedes with Tianjin plates on Gongti Beilu after the club won their first league championship. A fan, surnamed Ma, was charged with disturbing the peace, and sentenced to six months probation and ordered to pay 40,000 yuan ($6,352) in compensation.
"It could be our way to show we care and support our home club the most, but I guess instead it makes Guo'an and our capital look bad by us following a crowd and doing evil things," said Guan.