Fighting mars Euro-Tibet Cup 2019 celebrations

A Tibetan youth from Antwerpen in Belgium kicks another Tibetan youth fallen on the ground near the end of a fight in Antwerpen on early Saturday morning, 20 July 2019.

A Tibetan youth from Antwerpen in Belgium kicks another Tibetan youth fallen on the ground near the end of a fight in Antwerpen on early Saturday morning, 20 July 2019. Video grab image/Public domain

By Lobsang Wangyal

ANTWERPEN, Belgium, 21 July 2019

A group fight between Tibetans from Antwerpen (Belgium) and Paris has
left a few Tibetan youths from both sides injured. Police have started an investigation into the matter.

It was reported earlier that one of the fighters from Paris was detained by the police for lack of any identity document. It has now been learned that the youth has been released.

The fight took place in the early morning of Saturday after a party celebrating the successful conclusion of the Euro-Tibet Football Cup 2019.

A video from the fight went viral in which one of the youths from Paris is seen being beaten by a group of youths from Antwerpen, while there were others trying to stop the fight. An unknown person was recording the scene with his mobile phone, and telling the youths beating the victim that he was recording their actions.

The victim in the video was a football player from Songtsen team, Paris, that took part in the Euro-Tibet Cup tournament that was participated in by 19 Tibetan football teams from several European countries.

It is not known the cause of the fight, which took place around 6am on Saturday.

Two Tibetan youths, including the one seen in the video, from Paris, and two from Antwerpen have sustained injuries on their faces and necks. Almost all of them have had their injuries stitched.

Ambulance and police arrived soon after to take all the injured to the hospital. After treatment and police registering the details, all the youths except one from Paris were released. The one detained didn’t have any identification document with him.

Rumours began spreading that the one seen beaten by the group in the video had fallen into a coma. Tibet Sun has learned that wasn’t the case. After treatment at the hospital and overnight police custody, he has been released and is staying with a family acquaintance.

The party had been organised by the Regional Tibet Youth Congress to celebrate and raise funds for the Euro-Tibet Cup, which was in its 11th year. The President of the organisation Sonam Tsering, speaking to Tibet Sun said, “The video that has gone viral has left us in shame, as well as concerned because there are rumours that a youth has fallen into a coma.”

“Police told us that there’s no one in any life-threatening danger.”

The fight had taken place outside the party venue. The organisers were winding down after the party. By the time the organisers got the information, the participants had all been taken to hospital.

“Fortunately, there’s no life-threatening danger to anyone, including the person seen beaten in the viral video, but it is unfortunate that such a callous fight took place among Tibetans.”


Note: This story has been updated at 12:40 pm Central European Summer Time (GMT+2) with the status of one of the youths detained by police.

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