Fans clash in France before high-risk Euro 2016 match

Police intervened in a clash between English, Russian and French supporters in the Vieux-Port district


Afp June 11, 2016
An England fan kicks away a tear gas canister after tear gas was released by French police in the city of Marseille, southern France, on June 11, 2016, ahead of the Euro 2016 football match between England and Russia. PHOTO: AFP

MARSEILLE: Fresh clashes erupted on Saturday between football fans gathered in the southern French city of Marseille ahead of a Euro 2016 match between England and Russia, police said.

Security forces fired tear gas to disperse fighting fans for a third day in a row, just hours before the match which is one of five Euro games classed as high-risk for hooliganism.

"Police intervened in a clash between English, Russian and French supporters in the Vieux-Port district," said local police chief Laurent Nunez.

Meanwhile, three England fans and a French woman were to appear in court Saturday charged with acts of violence in Marseille, the state prosecutor's office said.

All four were held in custody overnight after being arrested for throwing bottles and other objects  at police as trouble flared on Friday.

One of the three English nationals picked up is a minor and will appear before a juvenile judge.

A Frenchman arrested for violence and theft with violence on Thursday appeared before a judge earlier Saturday.

Police made a total of seven arrests during the clashes on Friday night, which ended with hundreds of boozed-up and bare-chested fans stood, beer glasses in hand, staring down French riot police.

French police have offered to escort England fans to the match for their own safety.

The scenes of street battles from Marseille over the past 48 hours have evoked unhappy memories of hooliganism by England fans in the port city during the 1998 World Cup.

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