POLICE in Marseille deployed tear gas for a second night to disperse England fans gathered for the Euro 2016 football championships.
Officers in riot gear clashed with fans in the streets and plastic chairs and bottles were thrown at police. A number of arrests were made during the clashes, it was last night reported.
One England supporter suffered a head injury in the brawl after being hit across the face with a wooden chair and according to reports some England fans were heard chanting: “Isis, where are you?”
One sports commentator said a group of England fans had appeared to be “goading” either the police or locals.
The fresh clashes took place outside a pub in the Old Port district of the southern city, the same area that had been affected on Thursday.
Ambulances arrived at the scene to treat those with minor injuries after police carrying riot shields moved in to separate groups of people and tear gas was used to clear the area.
Supporters have travelled to Marseille ahead of England’s game with Russia today.
Footage of the incident showed a number of men hurling chairs, a brutal fist fight outside a fast food restautant and chanting England fans surrounded by police officers with dogs.
A clip posted on Twitter apparently showed the aftermath of the disorder, as shop workers swept a street strewn with broken glass.
Kevin Miles, chief executive of the Football Supporters’ Federation, which runs the fans’ embassy in Marseille, said he believed the locals turned up with the intention of provoking the English fans.
He said: “It was all fine until, our understanding is, a group of around 30 to 40 locals turned up, I think with the intention of provoking the England fans.
“In those circumstances it’s the police’s job to prevent a confrontation, and they used French methods to do so, which we’re not particularly used to.
“They used tear gas, which is a little bit indiscriminate for my liking. There were a couple of arrests of English fans as they responded to that provocation.”
He said: “The police have confirmed that version of events. I understand one England fan has been treated in hospital for a head injury which apparently isn’t serious, and there have been two English arrests.”
Mr Miles said he did not believe the incident set the tone for the rest of the tournament ahead of the arrival of thousands more England fans for today’s match.
He said: “In a city like Marseille, where it has its own domestic social problems, particularly with the youth culture, who see the arrival of lots of foreigners singing on their streets as a provocation to them, which clearly it isn’t, it’s just people coming to enjoy themselves.”
Tournament organisers Uefa said it “regrets the skirmishes that occurred in Marseille”.