Hooli­gans a blight on Euro

Wales tri­umphs in re­turn to tour­ney; thugs bat­tle po­lice

Winnipeg Free Press - SundayXtra - - BASKETBALL - By Trevor Hug­gins

PARIS — Fight­ing fans, tear gas and riot po­lice re­turned to the streets of Mar­seille Satur­day, be­fore and af­ter Eng­land’s 1-1 draw with Rus­sia at the Euro­pean soc­cer cham­pi­onship.

Clashes be­tween Eng­land and Rus­sia sup­port­ers even broke out in­side the sta­dium at the fi­nal whis­tle, af­ter Vasily Berezut­sky headed the equal­izer in stop­page time. Eng­land had taken a 73rd-minute lead through a su­perb free kick by Eric Dier.

The fight­ing at Stade Velo­drome came on a third con­sec­u­tive day of hooli­gan­ism in the Mediter­ranean port city. The lat­est in­ci­dents prompted po­lice to use water can­nons on the trou­ble­mak­ers.

French In­te­rior Min­is­ter Bernard Cazeneuve said one Bri­tish citizen was “se­ri­ously in­jured” in the clashes.

“Once again, as over the last 30 years, an in­ter­na­tional foot­ball com­pe­ti­tion has been the scene of clashes be­tween vi­o­lent peo­ple claim­ing to be sup­port­ers of their na­tional team,” Cazeneuve said in a state­ment.

UEFA, the gov­ern­ing body of Euro­pean soc­cer, also con­demned the fans, say­ing “peo­ple en­gag­ing in such vi­o­lent acts have no place in foot­ball.” It will launch an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into the clashes.

The vi­o­lence over­shad­owed a se­cond day of the tour­na­ment that saw Wales make a win­ning re­turn to tour­na­ment soc­cer af­ter 58 years with a 2-1 vic­tory over Slo­vakia. Switzer­land opened with a 1- 0 win against Al­ba­nia.

Two weeks af­ter help­ing Real Madrid win the Cham­pi­ons League, Gareth Bale stamped his mark on Euro 2016 by scor­ing the open­ing goal for Wales with a swerv­ing free kick in the 10th minute.

On­drej Duda equal­ized for Slo­vakia just a minute af­ter com­ing on as a sub­sti­tute, but Hal Rob­sonKanu’s scrappy goal se­cured vic­tory in the coun­try’s first ma­jor cham­pi­onship match since the 1958 World Cup.

“We’ve got the three points, which is fan­tas­tic, but the im­por­tant thing was the per­for­mance,” said Wales coach Chris Cole­man, who high­lighted Bale’s all-round per­for­mance.

“Ev­ery­body will look at his goal but some of his best mo­ments were at the end of the game, his foot­ball in­tel­li­gence… He un­der­stands what is needed

THANASSIS STAVRAKIS / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

Fans fight in the stands Satur­day fol­low­ing Rus­sia and Eng­land’s 1-1 draw in Mar­seille, France.

DARKO BANDIC / THE AS­SO­CI­ATED PRESS

A blood­ied and shirt­less man is taken into cus­tody by po­lice Satur­day in down­town Mar­seille, France.

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