NEWS

Euro 2016 England Fans Chant About Brexit At Violent Clashes In Marseille

Fans also sang songs about the IRA and German bombers.

11/06/2016 10:54 | Updated 12 June 2016

England fans chanted "fuck off Europe, we’re all voting out" between violent clashes with police as the European Championship got underway.

Chants of "sit down if you hate the French" were also reported, according to the Guardian.

Bare-chested fans also sang songs about the IRA and German bombers being shot down as violence first broke out at around 6.20pm French time outside the Queen Victoria pub in the Old Port district of Marseille.

Shortly after the final whistle of the France-Romania game, which France won 2-1, hundreds of England fans were surrounded by dozens of riot police in one of a series of tense standoffs, according to the Associated Press.

Owen Humphreys/PA Wire
A flare burns and a man throws a chair at the Red Eagle Cafe in the Rue de la Republique, Marseille

Fist fights broke out between English, French and Russian-speaking men, and one man was thrown into the harbour after he was beaten to the ground by local fans, the Press Association reported.

Disturbing footage of the ugly scenes showed English fans pelting objects into the street, showering the police with bottles and throwing chairs out of cafes.

Flares were also lit as officers deployed tear gas in an effort to disperse the troublemakers throughout the day.

Police later charged at fans as bottles were thrown.

Story continues below images...

  • Darko Bandic/AP
    French riot police officers detain a person in downtown Marseille.
  • Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
    A man takes evasive action during clashes between police and England supporters.
  • Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
  • Darko Bandic/AP
    Local youths run after being chased by England supporters in downtown Marseille.
  • Ariel Schalit/AP
    Police stand guard as they patrol the streets.
  • Darko Bandic/AP
    French riot police officers detain local youths.
  • Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
    A chair flies through the air during clashes between police and England supporters.
  • Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
  • Darko Bandic/AP
    England supporters gather outside a bar in downtown Marseille.
  • Darko Bandic/AP
    French police use tear gas against England supporters in downtown Marseille.
  • Thanassis Stavrakis/AP
  • Ariel Schalit/AP
    England supporters react as they gather outside a bar.
  • Darko Bandic/AP
    England supporters take evasive action after French police fired tear gas at them.
  • Niall Carson/PA Wire
    Two English football fans throw bottles (centre) towards French as two French plain clothes officers raise their asps (far right, green top and black top).
  • Tom White/PA Wire
    French police officers watch chanting English football fans in the old town area of Marseille.
  • Darko Bandic/AP
    French riot police form a line to confront England supporters.
  • Darko Bandic/AP
    A man is apprehended by French police.
  • Darko Bandic/AP

Hundreds of fans were photographed drinking outside pubs in Marseille on Friday before the situation escalated between football supporters and police.

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.”

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.

Bars and restaurants have been banned from showing the games on large TV screens in a bid to stop fans gathering and improve security.

On Thursday, England supporters chanted “Isis, where are you?” during a pre-Euros clash with locals in Marseille, which also led to police firing tear gas on them.

England is set to play their first match against Russia on Saturday evening at 8pm BST.

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