Marseille: Two nights of tear gas, broken bottles and beer-bloated football fans on Marseille’s Vieux Port came as a stark reminder to European Championship organisers that old habits die hard.
A tear gas canister, hurled by French riot police, explodes near a rioting England supporter in Marseille on Friday. Pic/ Getty Images
France has been on the lookout for potential terrorists, but old-fashioned hooligans opened hostilities at the month-long tournament before the first ball was kicked.
About 250 England fans fought French youths and later clashed with French police on Thursday night on the seafront of the Mediterranean city.
French cops arrest an England fan on Friday. Pic/Getty Images
Twenty-four hours later, at the same venue, French police had to separate scores of England and Russian fans. Bottles and other objects were hurled at French police. Seven fans were arrested, police said.
“We are really disappointed by the scenes of disorder in Marseille and condemn such behaviour,” said the English Football Association in a statement calling for “respectful” behaviour.