Travellers invade town’s brand new stadium

A fleet of 200 caravans invaded the local stadium in Marguerittes, southern France, this weekend, leaving the local authorities in despair.

The Domaine de Praden stadium, which had just been refurbished, was taken over by travellers on Sunday afternoon.

They forced the lock to the stadium open, and plugged themselves into the electricity and water. The two guards on duty were reportedly helpless.

Local Mayor, William Portal, said: “In 25 years of working at the town hall, I have never seen anything like this.

“We have always been able to negotiate [with the travelling community] an appropriate area for them to set up camp, we just ask that their children are sent to school and they use the rubbish containers provided.

“So we never imagined anything like this could ever happen.”

Damage to the grass and sprinkler system, as well as other repairs, is expected to cost up to €50,000.

Local footballers have also been put out by the invasion – training was supposed to start again on Monday, and matched on August 19.

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French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage

French prosecutors on Friday called for a 15-year prison sentence for one of two Russians accused of beating a British supporter during Euro 2016, an attack that left him with brain injuries.

French prosecutors demand jail term for Russian accused of leaving England football fan with brain damage
Russian fans light flares at the match against England in 2016.. Photo: AFP

One prosecutor, Christophe Raffin, asked for the “legal maximum… between 14 and 15 years” for Pavel Kossov, who is accused of throwing the first punch at 55-year-old Andrew Bache.

Bache was injured in the violence that broke out before England played Russia in the southern French port city of Marseille on June 11th, 2016.

The second Russian on trial in Aix-en-Provence, Mikhail Ivkine, stands accused of throwing a chair at the victim, with prosecutors asking for a potential suspended sentence of up to five years.

He has claimed he was defending himself.

“No, it wasn't legitimate self-defence, it was illegitimate use of force against Andrew Bache,” Raffin said of the violence.


Police give emergency aid to Andrew Bache following clashes in the city of Marseille. Photo: AFP

The prosecutors said the Russians were part of a group of about 150 men, many with martial arts training, who wrought havoc in Marseille.

Bache, from Portsmouth in southern England, has no memory of the events and is too frail to attend the trial.

His son Harry, who nurses his father, is representing him in court.