Ten England fans have been injured in a violent attack in the city prior to Thursday's game with Uruguay .SAO PAULO -- England fans were attacked by local hooligans prior to Thursday's World Cup clash with Uruguay in Sao Paulo.
Eyewitnesses told Perform that a Brazilian gang appeared to throw an explosive towards a group of England supporters near the fan fest in the city center.
Picture of hooligans who attacked #ENG fans begin arrested here in São Paulo #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/LsKwq6Y48O — Neil Barker (@Mockneyrebel) June 19, 2014
In the immediate aftermath, local authorities claimed 10 England fans had been taken to hospital with minor injuries but police later insisted no one required medical treatment.
A statement from the British Consulate also stated: "We are aware of an incident affecting fans around the area of the Fan Festival in Sao Paulo.
"We are working with the local authorities to establish the facts. No British nationals are believed to have been injured."Police arrested 15 people accused of involvement in the incident, with the assailants dressed all in black and carrying other explosive devices with them.
Local reports suggested the hooligans caused damage to shops and a bus as they tried to escape from the police.
One England fan at the scene told Perform: “We were having a quiet drink. We’d seen these people walking up and down all day. The police had seen them but did not stop them.
“We started singing, they started throwing smoke bombs and glasses. All we wanted to do was have a drink and enjoy the football.
“I don’t know if they were local fans, we didn’t want trouble.”
He added: “I saw them walking up and down. They’ve been here for five hours, we’ve been here for five hours. It was going to happen. There was zero safety.
“Don’t come here, you get no protection.”