World of Sport

Hero captain brokers peace with rioting fans

World of Sport

The ugly spectre of hooliganism looked set to blight Dutch football on Sunday when fans of NEC Nijmegen were on the verge of a riot.

But NEC's club captain, goalkeeper Gabor Babos, stepped in to save the day in astonishing scenes.

NEC's fans were furious after they had seen their hopes of securing a spot in Europe disappear: they'd just beaten Vitesse Arnhem 3-2, but it was not enough to overturn their 2-0 first leg deficit in the battle for a Europa league berth, which in Dutch football is decided via a play-off.

Looking to vent their rage the NEC fans were trying to break down a wall and gain access to the pitch; and that's where veteran Hungary international Babos stepped in.

The 37-year-old was giving a TV interview on the other side of the pitch when he noticed the commotion, but rather than sit back and hope for the best he politely cut the interview short and ran over to defuse the situation.

The  calm words and authoritative manner of the man who has twice been named goalkeeper of the year in the Netherlands worked wonders, with the baying crowd quickly becoming subdued and a potentially horrific riot averted.

View comments (56)