Paris police make 40 arrests in Euro 2016 riots | News | DW | 11.07.2016
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Paris police make 40 arrests in Euro 2016 riots

Soccer fans told they could not enter Paris' Eiffel Tower fan zone responded by throwing bottles at police and setting fires. The riots were an unwelcome reminder of earlier tournament violence in Marseille.

Some 40 people were arrested outside Paris' fan zone both before and after France's defeat to Portugal in the Euro 2016 soccer tournament final on Sunday, authorities said. Police were forced to use tear gas after revelers denied access to the Eiffel Tower open viewing began throwing bottles and setting trash on fire.

As a result of both the tear gas and the burning rubbish, the tower was engulfed in smoke for much of the first half of the game. Officers used water cannons to extinguish the intermittent blazes.

The police had already posted a warning on Twitter that the fan zone was full to its capacity of 90,000 revelers and no one else would be permitted entry, but that did not deter some supporters from trying to force their way through police lines.

Police said most of the rioters were French fans, but there were also a number of people wearing Portuguese colors amongst the crowd.

French police have been on high alert for soccer-related violence since clashes between Russia and England supporters earlier in the tournament in Marseille left 35 people injured. French investigators have blamed the clashes on a concentrated group of Russian hooligans who carried out "well-prepared" attacks on English fans.

Interior Minister Barnard Cazeneuve said on Monday that the month-long tournament had "gone off smoothly" despite some fan violence, notably between Russian and English fans in Marseille early on in the tournament.

"France was able to remain France," said Cazeneuve, adding that the country nevertheless remained on maximum security alert.

A total of 1,550 people were arrested during the tournament, with 64 expelled from the country and 59 sentenced to jail or given suspended jail terms for various offences, he said.

Almost seven million people -- around 20,000 a day -- bought tickets to the Eiffel Tower in 2015, 80 percent of them coming from abroad.

es/kl (AP, AFP)

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