Euro 2016

France detains 63, allows alcohol ban after Euro 2016 violence

Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin at a news conference on the violence on Monday
Marseille prosecutor Brice Robin at a news conference on the violence on Monday Reuters/Jean-Paul Pelissier

French authorities have detained 63 people linked to violence since the start of the Euro 2016 and deported three, the Interior Ministry announced Monday. Following the weekend's violence in Marseille and other towns, the government has given police chiefs the power to ban the sale of alcohol near stadiums and fan zones.

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Police have taken 116 people in for questioning since Friday, the ministry announced, and 63 of them have been detained.

Three "violent fans" have been thrown out of the country and five others have been banned from entry, the ministry reported, although police in north-east France said that 25 people known to them or foreign police forces had been stopped at the Belgian border and another 21 arrested by German police.

"These security measures will continue throughout the competition," the ministry said in a statement.

As well as the fighting between Russian and British fans in Marseille, in which 35 people were injured, there were brief clashes in Lille, northern France, on Sunday afternoon between German and Ukrainian fans.

Two people were slightly injured, according to local officials and no arrests were made.

About 150 known hooligans were in Lille and 50 of them took part in the violence, the German police said.

In Paris about 50 French youths dressed in black taunted Croation supporters and police moved in when the two sides started throwing missiles and fireworks at each other.

Lyon bans alcohol sales

Lyon was the first city to take up the French government's permission to forbid the sale of alcohol from the day before a match in areas near stadiums and fan zones, although it limited the ban to takeaway drinks, according to L'Equipe newspaper.

A red alert has been declared for Russia's next game, in Lille on Wednesday against Slovakia, and England's Group B game against Wales in nearby Lens on Thursday has also been declared a high risk.

The English Football Association urged supporters to "act in a responsible and respectful way", following a threat from Uefa to disqualify both England and France if more violence occurs.

UK police blame Russian troublemakers

While admitting that a "small minority" of England fans were out to cause trouble, the head of Britain's Euro 2016 policing operation put most of the blame on about 300 of "Russian troublemakers".

"They are like nothing we have seen before," Mark Roberts told the Guardian. "They are highly organised and determined to carry out sustained violent attacks at a level of aggression I have not encountered in the past 10 years."

British spotters, who will hand over video evidence to French police, saw them putting in gum shields and putting on martial arts gloves and bandanas before attacking England fans on Marseille's Old Port.

“We know some were carrying knives because one England fan was stabbed," he said. "They wore a kind of uniform – all in black t-shirts and clothing and most carried bum bags, possibly to conceal weapons."

Witnesses said French youths were also involved.

The condition of a British man in his 50s who was hospitalised after the fighting had on Sunday stablised but his life was still in danger, sources said.

In Nice, where there were clashes between French and Northern Ireland supporters on Saturday, a Northern Irish man died after falling into the sea early on Monday morning but the accident does not seem to be the result of fighting.

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