At least 31 injured in violence ahead of England-Russia match

At least 31 people were injured, four of them seriously, in violence between supporters ahead of Saturday's Euro 2016 match between England and Russia in the southern port city of Marseille, authorities said.

One England fan remained in critical condition, interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve said, while six people were taken into custody as police used tear gas for a third day in a row.

Three police officers were slightly injured in the melee, police chief Laurent Nunez told the French BFMTV news channel.

The European football body UEFA condemned the violence.

"UEFA firmly condemns the incidents in Marseille. People engaging in such violent acts have no place in football," the governing body said in a statement.

England's Football Association (FA) issued a statement calling on English fans to "act in a respectful manner" and said it was "disappointed by the scenes of disorder in Marseille."

Supporters could be seen attacking each other with chairs and metal rods in footage shown on French television and posted on social media.

Both English and Russian supporters, as well as local French fans, were involved in the clashes, according to media reports.

After the final whistle of the match at the Stade Velodrome, Russian supporters were seen storming a section of the ground housing England fans, causing them to flee. During the match flares were fired from a section seating Russian fans.

The violence came as local police mobilized more than 1,000 French police officers following two nights of violence in the port area of Marseille.

Nunez said that police were working to keep supporters for the two teams separated in different areas along the fan mile.

English fans had already been involved in serious clashes in Marseille during the 1998 World Cup.

Last update: Sun, 12/06/2016 - 00:56
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