Emergency measures designed to quell potential violence between Russia and England fans were announced on Tuesday amid fears of a dark day for Lille
Emergency measures designed to quell the prospect of violence between Russian and English fans were announced on Tuesday amid fears of a dark day for the French city of Lille.
With Russia in action on Wednesday and England on Thursday in nearby Lens, a ban on alcohol marketings from stores and supermarkets in Lille will run until 6am on Friday. Some 350 bars in the city will be required to close at midnight.
On the day Russia was sanctioned by Uefa over events inside Marseilles Stade Velodrome on Saturday, when their supporters charged at the England section, they were also advised any further instances of hooliganism inside Euro 2016 stadiums would result in immediate disqualification.
As French authorities began attempting to deport some Russian fans identified as being involved in Marseille, there was tension in Lille as an estimated 15,000 Russians began to arrive in the city before their match with Slovakia. Thousands of England and Wales fans also began to arrive before their match in Lens, having been officially advised to stay away from the small industrial city if they did not have a match ticket and instead watch the game at the large fan zone in Lille.
Following the incidents in Marseille Uefas executive board advised England and Russia could be kicked out of the tournament if there was any repeat. But after promising that anyone spotted drinking from cans or bottle on the streets would be arrested, the administrative head of the Pas-de-Calais region, the prefect Michel Lalande, also belatedly advised England fans not to arrive until Thursday to avoided crossing flows with the Russians. The plea is likely to be far too late to stop thousands of British fans arriving, many of them following the official advice to avoid Lens and head for Lille.
England and Wales fans sang together in bars on Tuesday, including Taverne Flamande opposite the station and there were the reporting of a brief incident involving two Russian fans who ran into the bar and began causing trouble.
Lalande said the ban on alcohol marketings was designed to stop bottles and cans being used as bullets, as they had been in Marseille. He said the authorities in Lille were determined to learn the lessons of elsewhere.
There were three of days of skirmishes between England fans, police and locals in Marseille, while on the day of the match an estimated 150 organised Russian fans charged at their rivals, leaving several fans seriously injured.
Lalande told spotters from the UK and Russian police forces would help local police. There are expected to be 4,000 police and emergency services on the streets of Lille and approximately 2,400 in Lens, about 17 miles away.
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