Tear gas and pepper spray comes out in Lille as English and Russian fans clash again

Footage shows hundreds of fans involved with police in town centre

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 June, 2016, 2:54am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 June, 2016, 2:54am

French police used tear gas to disperse English soccer fans at the European Championship on Wednesday, the fourth time England fans have been involved in violent incidents since the start of the tournament.

After a match between Russia and Slovakia ended in the north French city of Lille, police chased large groups of English fans through the back streets around the city’s main railway station.

A group of about 200 English fans had been getting progressively rowdier and noisier, singing songs taunting Russia, when a loud explosion was heard and some bottles were thrown.

Police appeared to make at least one arrest, pinning a man against the ground. Police then charged, spraying tear gas in front of them as they ran. Some bystanders took refuge in a nearby pharmacy.

England plays in the nearby city of Lens on Thursday and thousands of their supporters have gathered in Lille.

The French police action in Lille followed violent clashes between Russia and England fans in Marseille ahead of their European Championship opener, a 1-1 draw on Saturday night.

Russia lost to Slovakia 2-1 on Wednesday.

In Lille, Russian and Slovakian fans stayed clear of trouble as they left the Stade Pierre Mauroy and returned to the city center after their match.

Setting off a flare in the final 10 minutes of the game was the only notable example of misbehavior by Russian fans.

The incident could still be costly for the Russian federation. It had been warned that it will be kicked out of the competition if fans were to cause any more trouble after unrest at their team’s match against England last Saturday in Marseille.

By early afternoon there had only been seven arrests for public disorder. Among those arrested were Russians, Slovaks and a woman from Ukraine.

More than 2,000 security forces were present in the city.