Euro 2016: Call for booze ban as 116 are arrested
FRENCH authorities have arrested 116 people related to football violence since the start of the European Championships.
Three people have been expelled and five others barred from entering the country because “of the risk they pose to public order”, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said.
“Their actions distract the police from their primary mission, which is to protect our country from the terrorist threat,” he added.
Mr Cazeneuve has also asked for restrictions on the sale and consumption of alcohol in Euro 2016 host cities after drunken violence in Marseille, largely involving Russian and English fans.
Alcohol restrictions could apply on the eve and the days of matches, in public spaces, bars around stadiums and stores that sell alcohol for consumption off the premises. Local officials will be allowed to decide which areas would be dry.
Meanwhile, UEFA has warned England and Russia they could be disqualified from the tournament if there is further violence between supporters of the two nations.
It comes after Russia was charged with crowd disorder and racist behaviour after ugly scenes overshadowed Saturday’s game at the Stade Velodrome, which ended 1-1.
England supporters were forced to flee the stands shortly after the end of the match as thugs broke through a line of stewards and started attacking them.
The disorder was the climax to three days of violence between English, Russian and French fans in the port city that left dozens injured and led to more than a dozen arrests.
The British Government has said it was “deeply concerned” by the violence, and has offered to send more police to France.
“The UK government is deeply concerned by the violence in Marseille last night, including reports that in some cases England fans were attacked by rival supporters,” a spokesman said in a statement issued by Downing Street.
“We have offered to send further UK police to France ahead of the next England game to support the security operation around the match in Lens.
“And UK police will be assisting the French with their post-incident investigations and supporting them to gather evidence, including evidence against any England fans involved in the disorder.”
Russia, which will host the 2018 World Cup, has also been charged over fireworks being set off inside the ground.
Flares and a firecracker – both of which were banned from the stadium – were set off at the end of the game, before Russian fans appeared to attack English supporters.
UEFA says its control, ethics and disciplinary body will decide what action to take against Russia on Tuesday, before the team’s second game against Slovakia the following day.
European football’s governing body has not brought any charges against the Football Association in the aftermath of the violence.
Russia’s sports minister Vitaly Mutko has criticised the behaviour of his country’s fans following the clashes.
He admitted UEFA was likely to impose a fine – but also laid the blame on match organisers for failing to separate supporters.
The Russian Football Union said it “expresses regret for the disturbances involving Russian fans both outside and actually at the game,” and called on fans to “respect the opponents and their fans.”
UEFA has acknowledged there were segregation issues at the Stade Velodrome, and said it will act to improve security at stadiums. SkyNews.com