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Rediff.com  » Sports » French police break up fight among Polish fans in Marseille

French police break up fight among Polish fans in Marseille

June 21, 2016 21:30 IST

A Poland fan is detained by police in Marseille, France on Tuesday

IMAGE: A Poland fan is detained by police in Marseille, France, on Tuesday. Photograph: Wolfgang Rattay/Reuters

French police on Tuesday broke up a fight between Polish fans in Marseille and detained two of them ahead of Poland's final Euro 2016 group stage match against Ukraine.

Thousands of Polish supporters swarmed through the narrow streets of the city's VieuxPort (OldPort) district, drinking, chanting and letting off smoke bombs before the match. Poland needs at least a draw to qualify for the knockout phase.

The fight erupted suddenly among a group of hardcore Polish fans and was swiftly quelled by police deployed around the waterfront. Officers led two supporters away in handcuffs as a water canon truck stood by.

The Poland-Ukraine game kicks off at 6 pm local time (1600 GMT).

Fan violence marred the opening days of the tournament and forced European soccer's governing body UEFA to threaten England and Russia with expulsion from the championship. But the violence has largely subsided in recent days.

In Bordeaux Irish supporters, who have endeared themselves to the French with their warm-hearted banter, serenaded officers with chants of: "Stand up for the French police."

And in Paris, German and Northern Ireland fans marched, chanting and drinking beer, to the stadium where their teams were to face off at 6 p.m. (1600 GMT).

UEFA fined the Hungarian soccer federation 65,000 euros ($73,000) for crowd trouble at Euro 2016, the European football's governing body said on Tuesday.

The charges related to "crowd disturbances, setting off of fireworks and throwing of objects" during the 1-1 draw against Iceland in Marseille on Saturday.

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