NEWS

England Fans in Lille Clash With French Police, 36 Arrests

'This was very much an English problem.'

16/06/2016 07:42 | Updated 16 June 2016

At least 36 people have been arrested after England supporters clashed with French police on the streets of Lille in violent scenes ahead of Thursday's Euro 2016 match with Wales.

Flares and bangers were lit as officers charged at chanting fans, spraying tear gas in an attempt to disperse the crowds.

Sixteen people have been treated in hospital, reports the Press Association.

The BBC's James Reevell said: "The fears earlier in the day had been of attacks by hardcore Russian hooligans, but this was very much an English problem."

Officers used pepper spray against an England fan who ran towards them, as fights appeared to break out among Three Lions supporters.

Despite bars being shut many supporters defied a ban on drinking in the street.

Some were seen climbing road signs and while English police - sent out to help with the security operation - urged fans to behave, French police charged at them repeatedly.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
French police form a line in front of England supporters in downtown Lille.

Earlier on Wednesday evening a small group of people wearing Russian Ultra T-shirts threw a flare at a large group of England fans who then surged towards them.

The Russians left the scene and the remaining British fans were tear gassed, prompting them to hold their shirts over their mouths as they left the scene rubbing their eyes and spitting.

In footage posted online by ex-England footballer Stan Collymore, one man wearing a green hat was seen smashing wing mirrors off cars parked on the street.

Niall Carson/PA Wire
Former footballer Stan Collymore chats to police outside the train station in Lille city centre
 

Collymore said: “Somebody threw a, not a grenade, something that went bang, towards some England fans and the England fans have just run.”

He later pointed to a man who was pinned down in the road by police, and said: “You were throwing bottles. Yes.”

Away from the main square a group of England fans, who were comparatively quiet, were surrounded by police as they drank outside Cafe Oz. The officers parked more than 10 vans and a police bus in the square around them.

ASSOCIATED PRESS
An England supporter stands atop road signs as they gather outside a bar in downtown Lille.

A large number of fans congregated outside one of the bars near the Lille Flandres station, with dozens of police officers carrying riot shields standing guard.

The crowd chanted God Save The Queen and England Til I Die, as well as singing “Where were you in Marseille?” towards the assembled police.

Wolfgang Rattay / Reuters
England fans run from tear gas in Lille.

Elsewhere a group of England fans outside the railway station in Lille were penned in by police when one of them lit a flare and began to wave it as they chanted.

Fans from England, Wales, Slovakia and Russia have been gathering in the city for their Group B matches.

  • Darko Vojinovic/AP
    England supporters gather outside a bar in downtown Lille, France Wednesday, June 15, 2016 one day ahead of the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match against Wales in nearby Lens. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
  • Darko Vojinovic/AP
    England supporters gesture towards a line of police officers during a standoff in downtown Lille, France Wednesday, June 15, 2016 one day ahead of the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match against Wales in nearby Lens. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
  • Niall Carson/PA Wire
    England fans lit by a burning flare in Lille city centre, France, as fresh clashes have taken place between England fans and Russian hooligans at Euro 2016.
  • Darko Vojinovic/AP
    England supporters gesture towards a line of police officers during a standoff in downtown Lille, France Wednesday, June 15, 2016 one day ahead of the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match against Wales in nearby Lens. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
  • Darko Vojinovic/AP
    England supporters gesture towards a line of police officers during a standoff in downtown Lille, France Wednesday, June 15, 2016 one day ahead of the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match against Wales in nearby Lens. (AP Photo/Darko Vojinovic)
  • Darko Bandic/AP
    England supporters gesture towards a line of police officers in downtown Lille, France Wednesday, June 15, 2016 one day ahead of the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match against Wales in nearby Lens. Russia played Slovakia at the Pierre Mauroy stadium in Villeneuve d’Ascq, near Lille on Wednesday which raised the possibility of violence after clashes between supporters from the two countries at their previous match in Marseille last weekend. (AP Photo/Darko Bandic)
  • Niall Carson/PA Wire
    An England fan helps another up after he was knocked to the ground by French police officers in Lille city centre, France, as fresh clashes have taken place between England fans and Russian hooligans at Euro 2016.
  • Charles McQuillan via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: English police attempt to restore order as French riot police encounter hundreds of drunken English football fans on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the fans in a bid to keep public order in the city centre this evening. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
  • Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: British football fans gather at Grand Place Square as France police take security measurements since violence broke out in Marseille on Saturday, in Lille, France on June 15, 2016. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Atlgan Ozdil/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images)
  • Carl Court via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: People cover their faces as they run after tear gas is fired as French riot police encounter hundreds of drunken English football fans on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the fans in a bid to keep public order in the city centre this evening. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
  • Carl Court via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: People cover their faces as they run after tear gas is fired as French riot police encounter hundreds of drunken English football fans on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the fans in a bid to keep public order in the city centre this evening. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
  • Carl Court via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: People cover their faces as they run after tear gas is fired as French riot police encounter hundreds of drunken English football fans on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the fans in a bid to keep public order in the city centre this evening. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
  • Charles McQuillan via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: French riot police encounter hundreds of drunken English football fans on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the fans in a bid to keep public order in the city centre this evening. (Photo by Charles McQuillan/Getty Images)
  • Carl Court via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: English football fans hold a flag in front of a police officer as supporters gather outside a pub on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the fans in a bid to keep public order in the city centre this evening. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
  • Carl Court via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: People cover their faces as they run after tear gas is fired as French riot police encounter hundreds of drunken English football fans on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the fans in a bid to keep public order in the city centre this evening. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
  • Carl Court via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: An English football fan runs as French riot police encounter hundreds of drunken English football fans on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the fans in a bid to keep public order in the city centre this evening. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
  • Carl Court via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: An English football fan gestures at police officers as supporters gather outside a pub on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the fans in a bid to keep public order in the city centre this evening. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
  • Carl Court via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: People hold their hands up as French riot police encounter hundreds of drunken English football fans on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the fans in a bid to keep public order in the city centre this evening. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
  • Carl Court via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: People cover their faces as they run after tear gas is fired as French riot police encounter hundreds of drunken English football fans on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the fans in a bid to keep public order in the city centre this evening. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
  • Carl Court via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: A police officer looks on as English football fans gather outside a pub on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the fans in a bid to keep public order in the city centre this evening. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
  • Sylvain Lefevre via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: English fans celebrate with beer outside a pub in the city center on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
  • Alexander Demianchuk via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15, 2016: An English fan in a street during the 2016 UEFA European Championship. Alexander Demianchuk/TASS (Photo by Alexander Demianchuk\TASS via Getty Images)
  • Sylvain Lefevre via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: Police clash with English football fans in the city center on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
  • Carl Court via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: British police spotters work as an England football fan climbs a road sign as supporters gather outside a pub on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Police used tear gas and pepper spray on the fans in a bid to keep public order in the city centre this evening. (Photo by Carl Court/Getty Images)
  • Sylvain Lefevre via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: Police arrest a football fan in the city center on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
  • Sylvain Lefevre via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: English fans celebrate with beer outside a pub in the city center on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
  • Sylvain Lefevre via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: Police arrest a football fan in the city center on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
  • Sylvain Lefevre via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: English fans celebrate with beer outside a pub in the city center on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
  • Sylvain Lefevre via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: Police arrest a football fan in the city center on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
  • Sylvain Lefevre via Getty Images
    LILLE, FRANCE - JUNE 15: English fans celebrate with beer outside a pub in the city center on June 15, 2016 in Lille, France. Football fans from around Europe have descended on France for the UEFA Euro 2016 football tournament. (Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images)
Tear Gas Used On Fans In Lille
Suggest a correction
190 Comments

CONVERSATIONS