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French fan dies of injuries after Belgrade hooligan attack

Video by Rebecca BOWRING

Text by NEWS WIRES

Latest update : 2009-09-30

A French fan who was seriously injured in an attack by supporters of Partizan Belgrade before their team's match against Toulouse on September 17 has died of his injuries in a hospital in the Serbian capital.

AFP - A French football fan hurt in fighting with Serbian supporters in Belgrade died in hospital on Tuesday, a hospital spokesman said.
  
Brice Taton, 28, a Toulouse supporter, sustained brain damage after Partizan Belgrade fans attacked French supporters in a bar on September 17.
  
The football fan died Tuesday morning, said a spokesman for the Belgrade hospital, Drago Jovanovic.
  
"Taton had irreversible brain damage and prior to the death a sudden weakening of all vital functions occurred," Jovanovic said.
  
Taton was one of two Toulouse supporters hurt before their team's 3-2 Europa League victory over the Belgrade side.
  
He underwent surgery twice and had been in a critical condition. A second French fan was released from hospital after treatment.
  
Belgrade police have arrested 10 people on suspicion of involvement in the fight.
  
Mayor Dragan Djilas declared a day of mourning in the Serbian capital for Thursday, while the ministry for human rights and minorities called for a protest against violence to be held.
  
Serbian President Boris Tadic said that the guilty faced "the most serious and severe reaction of the Serbian state to that event."
  
"I express my condolences to his family," said Tadic, on a two-day visit to Slovenia, the first by a Serb leader since the breakup of the former Yugoslavia in 1991.
  
Belgrade football club Partizan expressed condolences for Taton's death.
  
"Brice Taton is not with us anymore. He is leaving Belgrade in a coffin, and we, ashamed, remain here to face ourselves and all consequences," the club said in a statement on its website.
  
Michel Platini, president of European football's governing body UEFA, dubbed Taton's death "tragic" and a "terrible crime".
  
"Today is a sad day not only for Toulouse FC and French football but also for European football as a whole," Platini said.
  
"The loss of a fan's life, whose only crime was to travel to an away match to follow his team, is tragic, and we must continue our fight throughout Europe against individuals who use football to carry out acts of random violence.
  
"We trust that the Serbian authorities will continue their investigations right to the end and punish the perpetrators of this terrible crime."

Date created : 2009-09-29

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