South African police say 17 football hooligans will be deported after a raid on a school hostel where known troublemakers are staying for the World Cup. "We took them by surprise," Brigadier Sally de Beer of the South African Police Service told The Associated Press on Wednesday.
"They were sleeping. They were a little rowdy and there was some shouting but everything went off fine."
South African officers were also helped by eight Argentine police representatives, who found some of the fans staying at the hostel were as young as 15, according to De Beer.
Police said they have been monitoring the "barras bravas" group and observed some of them trying to get into two World Cup matches, one of them Argentina's opening game against Nigeria at Johannesburg's Ellis Park, without tickets.
"We have been monitoring them to build up a profile," De Beer said.
"We decided that they were not the kind of people we wanted at World Cup matches. They could cause instability."
Police said the 17 men have now been handed over to the National Immigration Branch of the Department of Home Affairs for deportation. They were in a "holding camp" and will be deported in the next three days, De Beer said.