Table football game sparks asylum center brawl; 7 arrested

Oisterwijk Asylum Center
The asylum reception center in Oisterwijk, Noord-Brabant (photo: COA) . (The asylum reception center in Oisterwijk, Noord-Brabant (photo: COA) )

Seven boys were arrested Thursday night in Oisterwijk after a brawl broke out between two groups at an asylum reception center there. Police rushed to the scene at about 9 p.m. after receiving a report of the fight, which included the boys hitting each other with tree branches and other weapons.

The fight apparently started after a game of table football got heated, with someone angrily destroying the ball used in the match.

There were no serious injuries as a result of the fight. Police interviewed the staff at the Noord-Brabant center after they worked together to stop the violence by separating the groups of boys.

“Due to the testimony of staff, the main ringleaders were found and arrested for public violence,” police said in a statement.

Two asylum center employees claimed abuse in the incident and made a formal declaration with police. The seven arrested were held overnight. Authorities did not say if the boys were released, as of 8 a.m. Friday.

Police want to work with staff at the center to prevent incidents from happening in the future, authorities said in a statement.