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Over 100,000 Feyenoord fans pack center of Rotterdam on Monday afternoon to celebrate league title

ROTTERDAM - More than a hundred thousand Feyenoord fans gathered in the city center of Rotterdam on Monday to celebrate their team's Dutch league title, the 16th in their history but only the fourth of the past 30 years.

Thousands of singing and dancing fans crowded the streets in front of the town hall early on Monday, hours before the team would appear on the balcony around noon local time (1000GMT).

Hundreds of flares were lit by the raucous crowd when the players finally appeared, as the squad led the fans through almost an hour of songs and chants.

"It has been one big party since the moment we stepped on the pitch yesterday until now," Feyenoord winger Oussama Idrissi told local TV station RTV Rijnmond.

"Winning a championship is great, but achieving it with Feyenoord has something special, seeing what it does to all these people here and because it doesn't happen every year," Feyenoord coach Arne Slot said.

Feyenoord clinched their first Eredivisie crown since 2017 on Sunday with an easy 3-0 win over Go Ahead Eagles, sparking wild celebrations in the port city, which lasted throughout the night. The city planned the official celebrations at midday on Monday in an effort to avoid the riots that erupted from similar celebrations in the past.

"I have been here since 5.30, but I don't care," a fan told RTV Rijnmond. "Feyenoord is champion!"

Streets in front of the town hall were closed off when they reached capacity hours before the ceremony to avoid overcrowding, while alcohol was banned and police searched fans for fireworks. Mayor Ahmed Aboutaleb said the festivities on Sunday evening had passed without major incidents, even though more than a hundred people were arrested for vandalism, open drunkenness and assaulting the police.

(Reporting by Bart Meijer; Editing by Christian Radnedge)

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