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EURO 2016

HOOLIGANISM

English and Russian fans fight in Marseille

Football fans fought pitched battles for the third day in the French city of Marseille ahead of England's European Championship clash with Russia on Saturday.

English and Russian fans fight in Marseille
A bloodied Russian fan is arrested by police. Photo: AFP

Bare-chested English and Russian supporters hurled bistro chairs and bottles in the historic Vieux-Port district where the cobbled streets were littered with broken glass and debris.

The air was thick with tear gas.

At least five people were hurt in the violence which erupted after massed ranks of fans had been drinking for hours in the southern city.

AFP journalists saw one man with a heavily bloodied face receiving treatment after apparently suffering a cardiac arrest.

Police fired volleys of teargas to disperse the brawling fans as well as local youths who became involved.

Fans were seen marauding through streets throwing chairs and taunting each other.

Six people were arrested, adding to seven arrests in the district on Friday night in similar disturbances.

Police also broke up fighting involving England fans on Thursday.

England fans said the latest clashes were caused by Russians who charged at them.

“There were about 100 Russians, they just came out of nowhere, something was thrown and that started it all off,” said one England supporter who asked not to be named.

Another fan, Danny Hart, 23, said the 9:00 pm (1900 GMT) kickoff time had fuelled the violence.

“I don't think it's a good idea to have scheduled the match at nine o'clock tonight.

“By that time everyone's going to be completely pissed (drunk).”

The England-Russian game was one of five classified as “high-risk” for hooliganism by organisers.

Marseille residents said the violence should have been expected.

“It's the English, what do you expect? We know what it's going to be like when they come here,” said Laurent Ferrero, a pizzeria owner.
 
“In 1998 it was the same thing,” he said, recalling clashes between English and Tunisian fans in the port city during that year's World Cup.

In Lyon, meanwhile, four French men aged between 20 and 24 were briefly detained following a drunken fight in a bar where England fans had been drinking, police said.

Witnesses said the French men attacked the England supporters. Police did not comment.

The violence has marred French joy at an otherwise smooth start to the giant tournament which has been overshadowed by months of industrial unrest and terror fears.

The host country was boosted by a 2-1 win against Romania in an opening match.

EURO 2016

Euro 2016 gave France billion euro boost to struggling economy

Hosting the Euro 2016 football tournament cost France less than €200 million ($211 million) but brought some €1.22 billion into the country, according to figures released by the ministry of sports Tuesday.

Euro 2016 gave France billion euro boost to struggling economy
Photo:AFP

There was controversy over the public funds poured into the tournament, with some 24 million euros — double the expected cost — spent on security in light of an increased terrorist threat.

The state spent a further 160 million euros on building and renovating venues for the June and July event, while private funds and tournament organiser UEFA covered the remaining costs.

But Euro 2016 brought 1.221 billion euros into the country both in tourism and spending directly related to the organisation of the tournament, according to data compiled by the Centre of the Law and Economics of Sport at Limoges University (CDES) and the consultancy firm Keneo.

In calculating the figures, researchers took into account the loss from potential tourists who would have stayed away from France to avoid the tournament, as well as the state funds which could have been used elsewhere had they not been set aside for venues.

The average tournament visitor spent 154 euros a day, with most of that going on accommodation and eating out, the study said, with tourism providing a 625.8 million euro boost to the country.

UEFA spent some 360 million euros on organising the tournament in the country, while 24 participating teams gave the economy a 34.9 million euro boost.

Accredited persons for the event spent 34.8 million euros while in the country, and sponsors 22.6 million euros, according to the figures.

Last January the CDES predicted Euro 2017 would bring in 1.266 billion euros in additional expenditure, or 0.1 percent of France's GDP.

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