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Soccer Close to the madding crowd: A recap of Euro 2016 fan clashes

EURO 2016

Close to the madding crowd: A recap of Euro 2016 fan clashes

International soccer tournament has so far been marred by fan violence and hooliganism

England supporters gestures towards a line of police officers in downtown Lille, France Wednesday, June 15, 2016 one day ahead of the Euro 2016 soccer match against Wales in nearby Lens.

England supporters gestures towards a line of police officers in downtown Lille, France Wednesday, June 15, 2016 one day ahead of the Euro 2016 soccer match against Wales in nearby Lens.

Dark Vojinovic/AP

On the field, Euro 2016 has become known by late-game goals and close matches; off the pitch, the tournament has been marred by fan violence and "hooliganism" with just under three weeks left.

Mark Roberts, Assistant Chief Constable of the British police, said the levels of violence during the tournament has been "beyond anything seen before."

June 10

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On the opening day of the tournament, English fans in Marseille, France clashed with police, who used tear gas to break up the crowd. One fan and one local were arrested. Fans complained about the force of police, which resulted in six English fans being arrested and charged with throwing water bottles at police or other fans.

Spectators try to escape from Russian supporters who went on a charge in the stands right after the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between England and Russia, at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France.

Spectators try to escape from Russian supporters who went on a charge in the stands right after the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match between England and Russia, at the Velodrome stadium in Marseille, France.

Thanassis Stavrakis/AP

June 11

After England's match against Russia on June 11, when the teams tied 1-1, masked Russian fans charged at England supporters in Marseille. Fighting spilled out of the stadium and onto the streets. Several dozen people were injured.

Following the violence, UEFA, European soccer's governing body, warned the English and Russian associations that their teams could be disqualified from the tournament if there was more fan violence.

June 12

Germany and Ukraine fans clashed in Lille, France before their game, with more violence on the streets. BBC News reported that UEFA had "serious concerns" over security.

In Nice, France, violence continued between French "hooligans" and Northern Ireland fans, who were reportedly heavily intoxicated.

In Paris, members of a hooligan support group known as Kop of Boulogne attacked various groups of Turkish fans. Members of KoB were seen holding signs that said, "Turkish fans are not welcome."

The Globe's Cathal Kelly wrote that France's Euro is thus far notable as the one that reintroduced soccer's unwelcome Fight Club tradition to the world.

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June 15

Fans gathered in Lille during the buildup to England's game against Wales on the following day. Russian and English fans clashed again, and it was reported that 20 Russian fans were going to be deported, including the head of a Russian soccer supporters' association. Flares were set off and fans were herded by riot police away from the main area. Police used tear gas and pepper spray to disperse violent fans. Thirty-six people were reportedly arrested and 16 people were injured.

English fans run after getting sprayed with pepper spray by French police during scuffles in downtown Lille, northern France, June 15, 2016, one day ahead of the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match against Wales in nearby Lens.

English fans run after getting sprayed with pepper spray by French police during scuffles in downtown Lille, northern France, June 15, 2016, one day ahead of the Euro 2016 Group B soccer match against Wales in nearby Lens.

MICHEL SPRINGLER/AP

June 16

In Cologne, Germany, Russian hooligans attacked three Spanish tourists after they allegedly put stickers with anti-fascist slogans on a lamppost. When they were detained, police found tickets to Russia's games against England and Slovakia as well as masks.

June 17

Croatian fans fought in the stands during their 2-2 draw with Czech Republic. Flares were thrown on the field, causing a delay in play. A steward had a flare explode in his face when he went to pick it up. A total of eight flares, as well as other objects, were thrown onto the field. No players were injured.

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UEFA says it's "powerless" to prevent flares being smuggled into games. They were smuggled into Russia's games against England and Slovakia and Croatia's fixtures versus Turkey and Czech Republic.

Also on June 17, a police source said the head of a Russian soccer supporters' association and 19 other Russian fans were to be expelled from France for the violence during the match against England. Three Russian fans were also jailed for one year, 18 months and two years, respectively, by a Marseille court for planning acts intended to harm people and destroy property.

Violence continued on June 17 when several Spanish fans, carrying neo-Nazi banners and bringing flares into the stadium, were arrested before Spain's game against Turkey in Nice at the Allianz Riviera. Turkish fans also reportedly set off flares at the end of the game.

Turkish fans light flares during the Euro 2016 Group D soccer match between Spain and Turkey at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, France, Friday, June 17, 2016.

Turkish fans light flares during the Euro 2016 Group D soccer match between Spain and Turkey at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, France, Friday, June 17, 2016.

Claude Paris/AP

June 18

In Marseille, at the Stade Velodrome before the match between Iceland and Hungary, Hungarian fans were involved in a confrontation with stewards. Some supporters reportedly tried to climb a fence and a flare was thrown.

UEFA said it was taking disciplinary action against Hungary, Belgium and Portugal after witnesses saw scuffles after Hungary's 1-1 draw against Iceland, and after Belgian fans set of fireworks and threw objects during Belgium's 3-0 win against Ireland in Bordeaux.

June 21

French police used water cannons and tear gas on fans amid an ugly incident in Marseille before Ukraine's game against Poland. Several people were seen detained. One police officer was injured and four were arrested. Eight people were arrested earlier in the day near the Old Port area.

French police used water cannon and tear gas on football fans amid ugly incidents in Marseille ahead of the Euro 2016 match on June 21 between Ukraine and Poland, an AFP reporter said. Several people were seen being detained.

French police used water cannon and tear gas on football fans amid ugly incidents in Marseille ahead of the Euro 2016 match on June 21 between Ukraine and Poland, an AFP reporter said. Several people were seen being detained.

JEAN CHRISTOPHE MAGNENET/AFP/GETTY IMAGES

Elsewhere, 18 people were arrested for using or possessing flares during the Turkey and Czech Republic game, while Russian fan leader Alexander Shprygin was expedded from France for the second time in four days after being expelled following violence between Russia and England supporters June 11.

– Euro 2016 runs from June 10 to July 10, with the final set for 3 p.m., Eastern Time on July 10.

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