Russian, English fans clash with police in Lille

French police arrested 36 people while 16 others were hospitalised following the clashes.

Photo by: Reuters
Photo by: Reuters

Police and fans clash in the center of Lille, France June 15, 2016.

French riot police used tear gas after English and Russian football fans clashed again in Lille on Wednesday.

Police said 36 people were arrested on various charges following clashes between the rival fans after Slovakia beat Russia in Lille.

After Russian and English fans had clashed when their teams met in Marseille on last Saturday, there had been fears of violence in the northern city of Lille between the supporters of two teams.

Both the teams are in group B of the Euro 2016 tournament.

Few Russian fans were seen on the streets of Lille after their crushing 2-1 defeat at the hands of Slovakia. Incidents were caused by English fans chanting outside bars and pubs in groups of up to 200 people, who were closely watched by the police.

After a game of cat-and-mouse between England supporters and police, where English fans would move on, gather elsewhere and sing defiantly at police but fans eventually left in anticipation of the game against Wales in Lens at 3 pm on Thursday.

Authorities said 50 people were hurt during Wednesday and 16 people were treated in Lille hospitals.

UEFA - the Union of European Football Associations - has already issued warnings to both Russia and England following violence in Marseille before and after England’s 1-1 draw with Russia.

It warned Russia that the country’s team will be disqualified from the tournament if there is a repeat of such disorder.

UEFA also warned England that a repeated offence of English fans’ exhibiting violent behaviour could see the team expelled from the competition.

UEFA regrets 'skirmishes'

After fresh clashes in Lille, UEFA said on Thursday that it regretted the unrest on the streets of Lille overnight. But it stopped short of taking action to punish fan violence.

"UEFA regrets the skirmishes which occurred in Lille last night. Police forces made several arrests and were quick to restore order and keep the situation under control," it said in a statement.

English fans accused the police of being heavy-handed and shouted “shame” at the heavily armoured forces.

"This is a bunch of good fans having a good time. What's happening is the police are trying to enclose people," an English fan told Reuters. "It's not hooliganism at all, it's just a bunch of guys having a good time, having a good drink, that's it."


Marseille police also said an additional 20 Russian fans were to be expelled from France, while three others were to go on trial.

Additionally, police in Lyon said two fans suffered stab wounds in a fan zone there.

Lyon police said one of those wounded, a Frenchman, had told them one of his attackers wore an Albania football shirt.

France beat Albania 2-0 in another of Wednesday's games.

TRTWorld and agencies