South African police in cooperation with Argentinian police, raided a school hostel in the South African capital city of Pretoria early Wednesday morning, housing 165 Argentine soccer fans. Seventeen were detained and handed over to immigration officials for deportation.
Brig. Sally de Beer of the South African Police Service told AP they had been sleeping when the 30 policemen “took them by surprise” without any violence. She said they had been monitoring the hooligans to “build up a profile.”
The Argentine fans wanted to see their team play and some of them had tried to gain access to two World Cup games without tickets.
Because the fans also “behaved in a disorderly fashion on a number of occasions, roughing up other fans and generally causing trouble,” police decided that they were not the kind of fans desired at World Cup matches, De beer told AP. “They could cause instability," she said.
Five “barras bravas” left South Africa voluntarily Wednesday morning, while 17 more are waiting in a “holding camp” for deportation to Argentina within the next three days.