England fans chanted "Isis, where are you?" during a pre-Euros clash with locals in Marseille prompting police to fire tear gas to disperse them.
Two English football fans have been arrested over the clashes, which also saw an England supporter suffer a head injury after being hit across the face with a wooden chair.
Footage of the incident showed men hurling chairs, a brutal fist fight outside a McDonald’s and chanting England fans surrounded by police officers with dogs.
It was reported the violence began after a man who appeared to belong to Marseille's large Muslim population was verbally abused by England fans as he walked past them, triggering French hooligans to attack them.
Footage posted to Twitter captured the carnage, with groups of men throwing chairs and fighting police.
Gendarmes clad in riot gear and accompanied by dogs were deployed on the streets of the southern city after trouble flared shortly before midnight on Thursday.
Fans were also heard to chant "No surrender to the IRA".
A confrontation took place between locals and fans drinking outside Queen Victoria pub and O’Malley’s, an Irish pub in the city's Old Port district, The Press Association reports.
There have been suggestions that a brawl kicked off after England fans verbally abused a local man who appeared to be a Muslim, the Mail Online reported.
Kevin Miles, the chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Federation, said he England fans were drinking peaceably but a group turned out and tried to provoke them.
He told The Guardian: “It was all fine until, our understanding is, a group of around 30 to 40 locals turned up, I think with the intention of provoking the England fans to see if they could get a rise out of them.
"In those circumstances, 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."
England fans were heard chanting "Isis, where are you?" in the city, where Muslims make up around one quarter of the population.
Two England fans were reportedly arrested, one for assault and the other for violent disorder.
Ambulances were seen arriving after police carrying riot shields moved in to separate the two groups and tear gas was used to clear the area.
Supporters have travelled to Marseille ahead of England’s game with Russia on Saturday afternoon.
Bars and restaurants have been banned from showing the games on large TV screens in a bid to stop fans gathering and improve security.
France has been in a state of emergency since the November terrorist attacks in Paris when 130 people died.