Two England fans arrested after Marseille clash | The Daily Star
03:52 PM, June 10, 2016 / LAST MODIFIED: 03:58 PM, June 10, 2016

UEFA Euro 2016

Two England fans arrested after Marseille clash

Two England football fans have been arrested after police used tear gas during a clash with locals in Marseille ahead of the first Euro 2016 games.

Police said one of the fans was arrested for assaulting a barman and the other for violent disorder.

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Ch Supt Steve Neill, a British policeman in charge of England fan security in Marseille, said the "confrontation" was between local youths and some England fans.

It happened about midnight on Thursday.

The clash with locals took place outside the Queen Victoria pub in the Old Port district.

Four French policemen were lightly injured in the clash with England fans, the news website France Bleu reported. Many of the fans were drunk, it said.

After the tear gas was released the police restored calm to the Old Port district at about 02:30 (01:30 GMT).

There was no damage to local property, the police said.

'Small minority'

Ch Supt Steve Neill told BBC Radio 5 Live: "About midnight last night there was confrontation between a group of local youths and some England supporters.

"Local police moved in very quickly and utilised some tear gas to disperse the local youths and close the pub.

"The use of tear gas seems quite dramatic to us from England and the United Kingdom because we are not used to seeing it - but in mainland Europe it is a regular tactic and they restored order fairly quickly."

Footage of the incident showed men hurling chairs, a fist fight outside a McDonald's and chanting England fans surrounded by police officers with dogs.

Ambulances were seen arriving after police carrying riot shields moved in to separate the crowd and tear gas was used to clear the area.

"We need to keep it in context - there are thousands of England supporters who will come here and have a fantastic time," Ch Supt Neill said.

"There is a small minority who drink too much and get involved in some anti-social behaviour."

Supporters have travelled to Marseille ahead of England's game with Russia on Saturday.

Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters' Federation which runs the fans embassy in Marseille, said: "It's the police's job to prevent a confrontation and they used French methods to do so, which we're not particularly used to.

"They used tear gas, which is a little bit indiscriminate for my liking, but it did the job and the problems were over."

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