English and Russian soccer fans clashed with each other and French riot police in Marseille on Saturday ahead of their teams’ opening Euro 2016 match.
England, France and Russia fans were involved in violence in Marseilles that moved into a third day on Saturday – hours before the Three Lions kicked off their Euro 2016 campaign.
Football fans were pictured fighting with chairs in Marseille on Saturday as French riot police looked on from afar.
Marseille’s emergency services said one person suffered a heart attack during the fracas and had been taken to hospital while one middle-aged England fan was knocked unconscious.
The violence, ahead of England’s first Euro 2016 match against Russia on Saturday evening, moved into a third day, having begun on Thursday.
Hundreds of fans were seen gathered in the streets of the port city, where riot police employed tear gas to disperse the crowds.
“I hope they never reach the stadium,” Sabine Bernasconi, a local mayor from Marseille, said.
Tens of thousands of fans descended on Marseille ahead of the evening’s match. Broken glass and debris littered some roads and walkways near the Queen Victoria pub, focal point of clashes between English, Russian and French fans on Thursday and Friday.
Video footage showed fans throwing bottles and chairs, before eventually being forced to flee as police moved in.
By Friday, seven arrests had already been made by French police following violence in Marseilles.
Nine fans were arrested after violent clashes in Marseille last night.
Both the English FA and Russian football’s governing bodies could face sanctions as tournament rules state that teams must take ultimate responsibility for the conduct of their supporters
British Foreign Office said it is working with French authorities to help an England fan who was seriously injured in the clashes.
“We are in contact with French authorities about a British national injured in Marseille and stand ready to provide further assistance,” a spokesperson said.
Disturbing footage of the second night of trouble showed football fans pelting objects into the street, showering the police with bottles and throwing chairs out of cafes.
Football fans, horrified by the events in Marseille, took to social media to share their views:
What are these idiots doing in Marseille? It’s shameful. I don’t buy the ‘provocation’ excuse.
— Richard Keys (@richardajkeys) June 11, 2016
— Euros 2016 France (@EurosRelated) June 11, 2016
Tonight it’s come on England! But it’s a disgrace to see what’s happening in Marseille between the supporters!!
— John Arne Riise (@JARiiseOfficial) June 11, 2016
— Owen Humphreys (@owenhumphreys1) June 10, 2016