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England football fans clash with police in Marseille for second night

Published 10/06/2016

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 police officers seperate English and French football fans outside the Metro station in the Old Town area of Marseille
England fans chant in Marseille Old Town
French police fire tear gas as they clash with English football fans at The Queen Victoria pub in Marseille
French police dog handlers walk past fans following clashes with English supporters outside The Queen Victoria pub in Marseille
The streets are left littered outside the The Queen Victoria pub in Marseille
French police officers watch English football fans outside The Queen Victoria pub in Marseille
French police face English football fans at The Queen Victoria pub in Marseille ahead of the first game in Euro 2016
French police restrain a man following clashes with English football fans
English football fans gesture towards French fans in the Old Town area in Marseille
A French police officer aims a baton gun during clashes with English football fans
English football fans as they gather in the old town area of Marseille
A French woman throws a beer bottle towards English football fans
A French woman is led away by police after throwing a beer bottle towards English fans
Two English football fans throw bottles
English police officers (blue tops left) watch as a French police officer restrains a football fan wearing an England top
French police officers watch chanting English football fans
French police officers restrain a football fan
English football fans in the old town area of Marseille
French police officers run towards football fans in the old town area of Marseille ahead of the first game in Euro 2016

England football fans were involved in yet more ugly exchanges in the French port town of Marseille, as a second night of fighting and violence saw supporters pelting missiles from a roadside brasserie.

Disturbing footage from Marseille - the focal point for many Three Lions supporters ahead of Saturday's Euro 2016 match against Russia - showed a group of fans shouting "Have it" as they pelted objects into the street from the Red Eagle.

Some supporters lobbed bottles and chairs from the venue - with the odd missile simply striking the canopy above them - while the background was illuminated by a raging bright light from a powerful flare at the entrance of the building.

Police could be seen gathered a short distance away.

Earlier, officers deployed tear gas in an effort to disperse the troublemakers but the ugly skirmishes continued as darkness fell.

In scenes reminiscent of the dark days of hooliganism, bare-chested E ngland fans threw beer bottles at police dressed in full riot gear as frequent, short-lived confrontations marred the start of the European Championships.

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.

Police with helmets, batons and shields stood shoulder to shoulder along the cobbled street facing a line of England fans, some of whom threw bottles. One fan wearing a red England shirt was handcuffed and arrested.

The violence first broke out at around 6.20pm French time outside the Queen Victoria pub in the Old Port district where England fans had been drinking for most of the day.

Fans sang songs about the IRA, German bombers being shot down and the national anthem.

The start of the tournament, officially marked by a 2-1 win for the hosts over Romania in Paris on Friday evening, was instead overshadowed by images of brawls between rival supporters, violence and confrontations with local police.

The latest clashes came after a night of violence in the southern French city.

One England supporter suffered a head injury in Thursday night's brawl after being hit across the face with a wooden chair, and according to reports, some England fans were heard chanting: "Isis, where are you?"

As the disorder lurched into another day, bare-chested England fans could be seen dodging the gas deployed by police as an afternoon of drinking and singing turned into an ugly stand-off with police.

Police with helmets, batons and shields grappled troublemakers to the ground amid beer bottles and rubbish strewn across the cobbled streets.

While the disturbances were often violent, they were also often short-lived.

And although bottles being lobbed in various directions sent crowds of supporters fleeing, the French gendarmerie were quick to separate rival groups of fans and clear the danger areas.

Each time, it left staff working in the local tourist trade to clear up the aftermath, with broken bottles, debris and litter strewn across roads and pavement.

And after a brief period of quiet, it was not long before football chants were heard again.

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