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England fans attacked in stadium following Russia stalemate in Marseille

Published 11/06/2016

French police fire tear gas as they clash with English football fans at The Queen Victoria pub in Marseille
French police fire tear gas as they clash with English football fans at The Queen Victoria pub in Marseille
French riot police officers detain a person in Marseille (AP)
Trouble at the Red Eagle Cafe in Marseille - video grab from phone video footage, best quality available (Owen Humphreys/PA)

England fans have come under attack inside the stadium following the Three Lions' Euro 2016 1-1 draw with Russia.

Reports from the Stade Velodrome in Marseille said Russian supporters went into England fans' areas of the ground after the final whistle.

The incident came after a third day of violence in the Mediterranean port city left as many as 20 England fans injured, with reportedly several seriously hurt in bloody clashes between rival fans.

Uefa is understood to be launching an investigation into the crowd incidents.

The scenes from inside the stadium following the match raise serious questions about French security at a time when the country is on high alert after November's terrorist attacks on Paris.

Spectators reported seeing stewards in the ground at the end of the game, but no police officers.

Just before the end of the game white flares were lit in the Russian end, followed by a green rocket which went over England goalkeeper Joe Hart's goal. This was followed by a bang and then a red firework.

England had earlier seen Eric Dier's sublime free-kick cancelled out by Vasili Berezutsky as Russia ended the game with a lucky point.

In south-west France there were peaceful and joyous scenes as Wales marked their first ever European Championship appearance with a 2-1 win over Slovakia in Bordeaux.

But 315 miles to the south-east, it was a different story.

French police had used water cannon and tear gas on rioters hours before the game started.

Fist fights and bottle throwing broke out between the England supporters and their Russian and French counterparts in Marseille's Old Port on Saturday afternoon.

Rebekah Vardy, the new wife of Leicester City striker Jamie Vardy, tweeted after the match that she was caught up in violence.

She wrote: "That has to be up there with the worst experience EVER at an away game! Teargassed for no reason, caged and treated like animals! Shocking!

"I witnessed this with my own eyes! I can't comment on things I didn't see but what I got caught up in was horrific and uncalled for!"

According to France's BFM TV, 31 people were injured, four seriously, with one fighting for his life. Three police officers were also hurt, and six people were arrested the channel said.

England fan Michael Tashall from London, was in Marseilles as the violence erupted.

Before the game started, he told the Press Association: "We were in the Old Port town and the Russian ultras ganged up with the Marseille ultras and attacked the English supporters that were sitting there drinking beers.

"You go into town now and there are English supporters with blood pouring from their head from the Russians' attacks. They are outrageous. The World Cup in Russia should be taken away from them. It is an outrage."

French riot police were called in to disperse local "ultras" who attacked Northern Ireland football fans, a senior supporters' representative said.

The violence broke out on Saturday night in Nice but was reportedly quickly resolved.

Gary McAllister, chairman of the Northern Ireland supporters' clubs, tweeted: "Local ultras attacked Polish and NI fans who were mixing well.

"French riot police dispersed locals."

A Foreign Office spokeswoman said: "We are in contact with French authorities about a British national injured in Marseille and stand ready to provide further support."

Britons in France who need consular support can contact the embassy 24 hours a day on +33 1 4451 3100.

Thousands of Northern Ireland and Poland fans have converged on Nice on the Mediterranean coast for Sunday's fixture.

There were noisy but peaceful scenes throughout Saturday and many examples of friendly banter between the two sets of supporters.

Separate reports on social media have alleged violence on Saturday night.

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