Stiff penalties for two K-League clubs after fan violence mars fixture

A mascot's post-match celebration led to a pitch invasion and fighting in the stands, resulting in fines totaling nearly €10,000 as well as possible criminal charges
K-League clubs Incheon United and Daejeon Citizen received fines and other penalties on Thursday after several occurances of fan violence in last Saturday's match at Sungeui Arena Park in Incheon.

The hosts took their first win of the season by a 2-1 margin, but after the match two Citizen fans could be seen invading the pitch and assaulting the United mascot, who was later accused by visiting supporters of making offensive gestures. A scuffle between supporters from both teams ensued in the stands, leading the K-League to impose a €6600 fine on Citizen and a €3300 fine to United.

Additionally, United must play one of their home games at a neutral venue, while Daejon fans will be banned from two fixtures that are yet to be determined.

"For the K-League to develop, the fan culture must change first," United manager Huh Jung-moo told The Korea Times on Wednesday. ""They should patiently support their team instead of letting a win or less determine their emotions."

While some have suggested that fences be built to make the pitch at Sungeui less accessible, Huh blamed the mindset of both teams' supporters.

"England is a country that has had a lot of these kinds of incidents, but they have almost no stadiums with iron fences," he continued. "A more fundamental solution is needed. The change in the mindsets of fans is more important."

In addition to the punishments imposed upon the clubs, the two supporters who assaulted the mascot have been banned from all league fixtures for the rest of the season. United has cooperated with Incheon Jungbu police, who are continuing their investigation and considering filing charges.

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