Top cop urges Algeria football fans to behave after Friday’s final following fireworks and smashed police car
PUBLISHED: 10:46 17 July 2019 | UPDATED: 11:31 17 July 2019
Islington’s top cop and crime chief have asked Algeria football fans not to smash up any more police cars when they play Senegal in the African Cup of Nations on Friday.
The warning comes after Manchester City winger Riyad Mahrez scored a sublime 95-minute free kick against Nigeria on Sunday, which propelled Algeria into the final and sent supporters in and around Blackstock Road into pandemonium.
Finsbury Park's sizable Algerian community celebrated in the streets, with car horns blaring and people waving the green and white flag atop a Blackstock Road bus stop. But a small minority of supporters are said to have taken their celebrations too far, with fireworks allegedly launched horizontally down streets and some neighbours made to feel unsafe.
Ch Sup Raj Kohli, who heads the central north basic command unit (BCU) for Islington and Camden, confirmed a police car was "smashed up" on Sunday.
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He told the Gazette: "We have a policing plan in place. This is about balance and not over policing it and spoiling it for everyone."
Ch Sup Kohli said 95 per cent of fans were just being "boisterous" in their post match celebrations, while 5pc took it to far by dangerously throwing fireworks.
"I wish good luck to everybody," he added, "because, as a Scotland football fan, I don't even know what a final looks like.
"But please be courteous and respectful to everyone, as they already have been - and may the best team win."
Islington's crime chief Cllr Andy Hull (Lab, Highbury West) said: "Yallah, Algeria! But please let's not allow violence inshallah, to spoil the celebrations."
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