Euro 2016: French government plans alcohol ban on match days

Uefa says teams may be thrown out after violence scenes between rival fans in Marseille

 

France’s interior minister called on tough sanctions against England and Russia after violent clashes in Marseille and urged hosting cities to consider a ban on alcohol around match days.

“It is absolutely necessary that the national federations whose supporters create incidents of this nature be punished for what happened inside the stadium, and also outside,” Bernard Cazeneuve told a news briefing.

Mr Cazeneuve said he asked police chiefs in nine hosting cities to take all measures to prevent the sale, consumption and transportation of alcohol on the day before a fixture and on the match day.

Anybody arrested for violent incidents could also be banned from all stadiums, fan zones and popular public areas in all host cities, he added.

England and Russia face being thrown out of Euro 2016 if scenes of serious fan disorder continue, Uefa’s executive committee has warned.

Ugly scenes both before and during Saturday night’s Group B game in Marseille left a number of supporters injured, with one England fan in a critical condition in hospital.

Uefa was swift to open disciplinary proceedings against the Football Union of Russia for alleged crowd disturbances, racist behaviour and the setting off of fireworks towards the end of the game.

But now their executive committee has gone one step further in a strongly worded statement which indicates the governing body will not hesitate to impose the ultimate sanction.

The statement read: “The Uefa Executive Committee would like to express its disgust for the violent clashes which occurred in the city of Marseille.

“Such unacceptable behaviour by so-called supporters of the national teams of England and Russia has no place in football, a sport we must protect and defend.

“The Uefa Executive Committee has warned both football associations that — irrespective of any decisions taken by the independent disciplinary bodies relating to incidents inside the stadium — it will not hesitate to impose additional sanctions on the Football Association (FA) and the Russian Football Union (RFU), including the potential disqualification of their respective teams from the tournament, should such violence occur again.

“We urge both the FA and the RFU to appeal to their supporters to behave in a responsible and respectful manner.

“We would also like to publicly voice our support for the work of the French Authorities and security forces for their efforts to deliver a safe and secure tournament in challenging circumstances.”

Meanwhile English FA chief executive Martin Glenn says the association is treating the threat of expulsion from the tournament with the “utmost seriousness.”

Uefa’s threat came after FA chief executive Glenn spoke to ITV about the “shocking” and “upsetting” violence inside the Stade Velodrome, urging England fans to stay out of trouble for the remainder of Euro 2016.

That interview was filmed before Uefa’s strongly-worded statement, though, and Glenn later said in a statement the FA had taken heed of the governing body’s warning.

“We take this letter from Uefa with the utmost seriousness,” he said. “We understand the potential implications of our supporters’ actions and wholly accept that every effort needs to be made by The FA to positively urge them to act in a responsible and respectful way.

“Violent scenes like those witnessed over the weekend in Marseille have no place in football, nor society as a whole. “We want people — fans and locals — to feel safe and enjoy a festival atmosphere at the Euros and we will continue to work closely with all the relevant authorities to achieve that.”

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