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England fans attacked by knife gang ahead of Ukraine game

Three supporters have been injured ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifier after being set upon by a 'hooded gang'

Reports are now circulating that a group of England football fans have been attacked in Kiev, by a mob armed with knives and other weapons.

The news is seen as a blemish ahead of the crucial World Cup qualifier with Ukraine, tomorrow in a game described by England manager Roy Hodgson as a 'cup final'.

Around 30 hooded Ukrainians armed with knives and broken bottles attacked the travelling England supporters in a coffee shop, injuring three men before fleeing the scene.

All three of the England fans were taken to hospital, with varying injuries – initial reports stated that one of the men was admitted with with a stab wound, whilst the other two were treated for a head injury and severe bruising respectively.

In a statement from the foreign office, reporters were told:"We are aware of incidents in Kiev involving British nationals. We are providing consular assistance."

It is understood all three have been released from hospital and have decided not to help the police with their investigation, which therefore looks like arrests are unlikely.

The head of the UK police delegation, Rachel Barber said: "We are aware of what happened last night and we will be going round most of the major bars, including this particular one, to make sure there are no problems.

"We would urge supporters to enjoy themselves but to do so without upsetting anybody.

"I am pleased to say that currently the atmosphere in the town is good.

"There can be an element of bravado on social media and you can never legislate for something happening but we hope that the England fans will just have a good time in what is a fantastic city."

England will take on their Ukrainian opponents in Kiev's Olympic Stadium on Tuesday night, knowing that a win will leave them very close to automatic qualification for next summer's World Cup in Brazil.

image: © Ethan.K

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