Chairs, ta­bles dis­ap­pear from Toulouse ter­races for Wales v Rus­sia tie

Pakistan Observer - - SPORTS -

TOULOUSE (France)—The threat of fan vi­o­lence around the Wales-Rus­sia Euro 2016 match on Mon­day prompted Toulouse city of­fi­cials to re­quest cafe and bar own­ers to close their ter­races.

Po­lice are on alert for about 150 hard­core Russian fans who it is feared could cause a re­peat of vi­o­lent chaos around the Eng­land-Rus­sia game in Marseille on June 11.

Thou­sands of Wales fans, along with a smaller num­ber of Rus­sians still packed the city cen­tre cafes even though the Group B match has been added to a list of high­risk games by French au­thor­i­ties.

An ex­tra 600 po­lice have been added to the se­cu­rity pres­ence which will be 2,100 in all.

Cafe chairs and ta­bles were used as weapons in Marseille and Toulouse au­thor­i­ties called on cafe and bar own­ers to se­cure their ter­race fu­ni­ture and use only plas­tic cups for drinks ahead of Mon­day’s 1900 GMT fix­ture.

Bars, cafes and restau­rants closed at mid­night on Sun­day, a mea­sure that will be re­peated on Mon­day night.

A Toulouse town hall state­ment said se­cu­rity “has been tight­ened in the town cen­tre, around the Matabiau train sta­tion and at Toulouse-Blagnac air­port.”

A di­rec­tive is­sued on Fri­day by Pas­cal Mail­hos, the re­gional govern­ment of­fi­cial, in­di­cated that shops would be banned from sell­ing glass bot­tles to fans.

A group of 20 Russian foot­ball fans in­clud­ing far-right ag­i­ta­tor Alexan­der Sh­pry­gin were deported from France on Satur­day.

Mail­hos said “600 po­lice of­fi­cers” have been de­ployed around the city since Satur­day and will re­main un­til Tues­day.

A rel­a­tively peace­ful at­mos­phere reigned over ‘La Ville Rose’ (The Pink City), as Toulouse is known, on Sun­day night when mainly Welsh fans min­gled with lo­cals.

Few Russian were spot­ted in the city al­though one in par­tic­u­lar was noted wear­ing a T-shirt with a pic­ture of Russian pres­i­dent Vladimir Putin.

Oth­ers had Soviet-era na­tional flags around their shoul­ders.

Thirty-fans were injured in the Marseille bat­tles and two Eng­land fans left crit­i­cally injured.—APP

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