March 27, 2023

Thirty arrested for violent crimes linked to Benfica and Sporting cheerleading

Operation PSP is linked to DIAP’s special violent crime unit in Lisbon and takes place in different procedures, with the same reality

A major police operation took place this morning in the greater Lisbon area, with more than 20 investigations and 30 arrests of figures linked to the Benfica and Sporting cheerleading squads, for a series of serious crimes that fall within the scope of violence in sport – such as group attacks and thefts against supporters of the clubs themselves and rivals, near the Luz and Albalade stadiums, CNN Portugal has learned.

The operation was completed around 12:00 noon, with 29 people arrested on warrants and one on an outstanding warrant, in possession of a firearm.

In a statement, the PSP reported compliance with “29 arrest warrants issued by the judicial authority, as well as 30 house search warrants, in the greater Lisbon area and on the south bank of the Tagus,” with “situations of aggression, between groups supporters and against the police, crimes of theft, aggravated damage and participation in a fight”.

The PSP operation is combined with the DIAP special unit to fight violent crime in Lisbon and takes place in different procedures, with the same reality. On the one hand, the phenomenon of the No Name Boys, Benfica fans and more specifically the “Casuals” sub-group, with evidence of them ambushing even young fans of the club itself, whom they chase after football. matches at the stadium or modes of operation at the pavilhão da Luz. Victims are forcibly taken to isolated places where they end up being violently attacked by groups, unfairly and for no reason, and robbed. They were left without mobile phones, money and goods they carry such as gold and silver wires.

On the other side of town, next to the Alvalade stadium, there are identical crimes committed by the “casuals” of the Leonine cheerleading team, Juve Leo. Persecutions of fans of rival clubs and of Sporting itself, group aggression, fights in combination with supporters of other clubs – but also attacks on the Police itself. In a recent case, on July 25 last year, after a match between Sporting and Sevilla for the 5 Violins trophy, stones and bottles were thrown at PSP agents patrolling the stadium area, causing three injuries. At least one of the officers had to be taken to the hospital.

In today’s operation there are prisoners for this last condition – and others, for theft and for offenses against bodily integrity. Also controversial are situations of disobedience by fans who continue to attend sports venues despite the removal measures they are subject to by the Authority for the Prevention of Violence in Sports, after they were caught setting off fireworks in the stands of the stadiums.

All the prisoners, whether connected to the Benfica cheerleading squad or Sporting, will spend the next night in the PSP dungeons and will appear in the Criminal Court this Thursday. Some are at risk of being detained.

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