Marseille tightens security ahead of England-Russia Euro game

Paris, June 10 (IANS) Marseille authorities will boost security ahead of England’s Euro 2016 opener against Russia on Saturday after English football fans clashed with locals in the centre of the southern French city THursday night, French Interior Ministry spokesman Pierre-Henry Brandet said on Friday.

“Starting from tonight already additional forces will be deployed in the city to maintain order upon the decision of the prefecture,” the spokesman told the BFMTV channel, reports Tass.

At least 200 English football fans went on a rampage in downtown Marseille, one of the French cities selected to host Euro 2016 matches, throwing chairs and casting bottles. French law enforcement forces acted promptly and using tear gas they dispersed the crowd and settled the situation.

“A clash involving fans occurred that was stopped by an operative intervention by police. Two people have been detained,” the spokesman said commenting on the incident.

In its kick-off group stage match, team England takes on the Russian national squad on Saturday in Marseille at the Stade Velodrome.

According to various media reports, up to 150,000 English football fans are expected to be in Marseille on the match day.

The Euro 2016 is held in France between June 10 and July 10 with matches played in 10 different locations, namely in Bordeaux, Lens, Lille, Lyon, Marseille, Nice, Paris, Saint-Denis, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse.

A total of 24 European national teams qualified for the tournament in 2016, after the contestants’ format, which was used since 1996, was decided to be extended from 16 to 24 teams.

The contesting teams were divided into six groups and England was placed into Group B, sharing it with the teams from Russia, Wales and Slovakia.

–IANS

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