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Police arrest 148 Paris-Saint-Germain fans as cars set ablaze after defeat

Police arrested 148 people as Paris Saint-Germain fans set cars ablaze, smashed shop windows and clashed with police in the French capital after the team's Champions League final defeat to Bayern Munich on Sunday night.

Police arrest 148 Paris-Saint-Germain fans as cars set ablaze after defeat
Fire fighters extinguish a burning car near the Champs Elysées. Photo: AFP

The violence occurred around the Parc des Princes stadium and on the Champs-Elysées avenue during and after the match on Sunday night, police said on Twitter.

Thousands gathered outside PSG's Parc des Princes ground. Photo: AFP

Thousands of supporters had gathered at the Parc des Princes to cheer on PSG, lighting flares and chanting as they watched the 1-0 defeat in Lisbon on a big screen.

The trouble lasted several hours, as groups of fans threw bottles and fireworks at police, who responded with tear gas and rubber bullets, an AFP reporter said.

On the Champs-Elysées, vehicles were set on fire, windows broken and shops vandalised.

Police said 148 people were arrested “in particular for damage, violence or throwing projectiles”.

Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin said 16 police were injured, 12 shops attacked and about 15 vehicles damaged overnight.

In a tweet on Sunday night, he condemned the “unacceptable” violence and thanked the police who arrested “small violent groups, troublemakers.”

Social distancing measures were ignored inside and outside the Parc des Princes among fans who had hoped to see their Qatar-owned team's first triumph in Europe's top club competition.

Police said 404 people were stopped for not wearing face masks as part of regulations aimed at curbing the coronavirus outbreak.

Paris mayor Anne Hidalgo had earlier called for “mature celebrations” should PSG beat Bayern, after supporters clashed with police following their 3-0 win over RB Leipzig in the semi-finals.

“I'm gutted! They wasted too many chances and unfortunately in the final that just doesn't fly,” said Nicolas Mounier as he left the stadium peacefully.

“We are disappointed but we weren't dreadful,” another PSG fan, Anne Vaneson, told AFP.

“In the first half, we were on a level playing field but we paid for a dip in performance in the first 20 minutes of the second half.”

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TRAVEL NEWS

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

Car, moped, public transport, or electric bicycle - which means of transport is the quickest way to get across Paris?

Revealed: The fastest way to get across Paris

One intrepid reporter for French daily Le Parisien decided to find out. 

The challenge was simple. Which mode of transport would get the journalist from the heart of Fontenay-sous-Bois in the eastern suburbs to the newspaper’s office on Boulevard de Grenelle, west Paris, fastest?

Over four separate journeys, each one in the middle of rush hour, the electric bicycle was quickest and easiest. More expensive than conventional bikes, electric bikes do come with a government subsidy.

The journey was described as ‘pleasant and touristy’ on a dry but chilly morning going via dedicated cycle lanes that meant the dogged journalist avoided having to weave in and out of traffic.

It took, in total, 47 minutes from start to finish at an average speed of 19km/h, on a trip described as “comfortable” but with a caveat for bad weather. The cost was a few centimes for charging up the bike.

In comparison, a car journey between the same points took 1 hour 27 minutes – a journey not helped by a broken-down vehicle. Even accounting for that, according to the reporter’s traffic app, the journey should – going via part of the capital’s southern ringroad – have taken about 1 hr 12.

Average speed in the car was 15km/h, and it cost about €2.85 in diesel – plus parking.

A “chaotic and stressful” moped trip took 1 hour 3 minutes, and cost €1.30 in unleaded petrol.

Public transport – the RER and Metro combined via RER A to Charles-de-Gaulle-Étoile then Metro line 6 to the station Bir-Hakeim – took 50 minutes door to door, including a 10-minute walk and cost €2.80. The journey was described as “tiring”.

READ ALSO 6 ways to get around Paris without the Metro

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