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Boules match descends into violent brawl

A regional pétanque (boules) championship in south western France was marred earlier this month when one of the matches descended into a mass brawl, that saw seven people arrested and the referee suffer a blow to the head.

Boules match descends into violent brawl
Photo: AFP

The French take their pétanque (or boules as it also known abroad) seriously, although some a little too seriously it seems.

The Aquitaine championships in south western France descended into chaos earlier this month when a match was marred by a mass brawl, Sud Ouest newspaper reports.

According to reports one player became annoyed by the presence of an old rival in the crowd and things quickly got out of hand and the pair became involved in an altercation.

SEE ALSO: Pétanque: Ten things you really need to know

With the arena in shock, four people arrived armed with bats, iron bars and even a walking stick with a metal handle as the dispute turned violent.

The spectator was left badly injured in the fracas and the referee suffered a blow to the back of the head.

The brawl was apparently covered up by the tournament’s organisers until mobile phone footage was passed to the police.

Seven people were arrested in connection with the fight, including three generations of one family – the grandfather, son and grandson.

They face charges of violence and using a weapon during a sporting event.

Last year, the pétanque world championships were marred by death threats leading one team to drop out. 

VIDEO: Fox steals 38 boules balls

SEE ALSO: Pensioner killed by runaway circus elephant 

SOCIAL MEDIA

French teen charged over brandishing fake gun at teacher in Paris suburb

A French teenager who was filmed threatening his teacher with a fake gun in a tough Paris suburb was charged Sunday with aggravated violence, prosecutors said.

The incident, which was filmed and uploaded onto social media by one of the 15-year-old's classmates, took place Thursday at a high school in the southeastern suburb of Creteil.
   
It drew widespread condemnation, including from President Emmanuel Macron and members of his cabinet as well as the right-wing opposition condemned the 
incident.
   
The daily Le Parisien reported that the student admitted to pointing the imitation gun at the teacher, but said it was meant “as a joke” and that he was not aware he was being filmed.
 
 
He presented himself to police on Friday accompanied by his father.
   
The video shows the boy standing over the seated teacher, brandishing what turned out to be an air gun.
   
“You've marked me absent. Mark me as present,” he shouts as another student tries to plead his case with the teacher, who appears more weary than panicked 
and continues working on her laptop while exchanging a few inaudible remarks with the class.
   
She filed a police complaint on Friday.
  
Education Minister Jean-Michel Blanquer and Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in a joint statement Sunday they would convene a top-level meeting next week to discuss ways to end violence in schools in low-income city suburbs.
   
“School is the cradle of the Republic and it is where we learn to respect the Republic,” Castaner said during a visit to a police station in eastern Paris, vowing to “recapture the Republic square metre by square metre” from lawless elements.
Le Parisien said the teenager was angry that the teacher marked him down as absent when he had been merely late for class.
   
Another teenager suspected of bringing the fake weapon to school was also questioned by police but released without charge.
   
Macron on Saturday warned in a tweet (see above) that threatening a teacher was “unacceptable” and said he had ordered his ministers to take “all necessary measures” to prevent a repeat of the incident.
   
France has so far been spared the kind of gun violence that has plagued schools in the United States and parts of northern Europe.