Saturday, 11 June 2016
Battle of Marseille: Violent English fans clash with French police ahead of Russia match
English soccer fans clashed with police in Marseille for the second time in two days, ahead of country’s Euro 2016 fixture with Russia.
Tears gas dispersed by security forces to quell the disruptions caused by England squad supporters Saturday in an area known as the Old Port of Marseille.
Footage from the scene show a number of men brawling in the street as riot police rush to break up violent skirmishes.
RT correspondent Eisa Ali says clashes have been ongoing throughout the day, with tear gas being fired outside his hotel. However, the violence seemed to erupt quickly in one area of the district as fans were singing without incident outside bars just minutes before the mayhem.
He said the trouble appears to have started between England supporters and police, although rival Russian fans have now become involved in the chaos.
“There has been tear gas thrown by police and fans throwing bottles at the police. The England fans we spoke to said the police have overreacted, although some fans have admitted that other England fans were throwing bottles at police and provoking them,” he said.
Missiles such as beer bottles, pub tables and chairs are being used as weapons around the port, Reuters reports.
A police water cannon has been sent on to the glass-strewn streets, while there are reports of a number of injured people. At least one English supporter has been taken from the scene after being knocked unconscious in a scuffle with a small group of Russian “hooligans,” according to La Provence.
Located around 5km from the Stade Vélodrome, where Russia and England play their first Group B game, the Old Port of Marseille has become something of a hooligan battle ground in recent days.
It follows a number of arrests in the city on Friday, when Russian and English fans launched projectiles at each other.