09/09/2013 10:42 EDT | Updated 11/09/2013 05:12 EST

3 England fans hospitalized with minor injuries after brawl at cafe in Kyiv

KIEV, Ukraine - Police say three England fans were briefly hospitalized for head and arm injuries on Sunday evening after a fight erupted at a central outdoor cafe in Kyiv, two days before the country's World Cup qualifier against Ukraine.

Police said the fans, aged 19, 22, and 23, were among some 40 English nationals at the venue, although eyewitness Tim White of Manchester said "there were at least 100 Englishmen singing football songs and drinking beer there."

Police said six Ukrainians approached the venue around 9 p.m. and a verbal argument started between the two groups and escalated into a fight, during which an additional 15 Ukrainians joined in.

Police said the three Englishmen were released from hospital the same evening and refused to give official statements. Police opened a criminal case for hooliganism and have started a pre-trial investigation.