Euro 2016 has been marred by further scenes of violence, with up to 100 supporters involved in clashes ahead of Germany’s match with Ukraine in Lille.
Rival fans clashed in the centre of the city, close to the Gare Flandres, where a number of supporters have been arriving in recent days.
Germany and Ukraine fans were seen fighting, throwing chairs and bottles near La Grande Place, an area of bars and restaurants which had earlier seen dozens of supporters – including some from Wales and England, whose teams meet in nearby Lens on Thursday – mixing in a peaceable atmosphere.
A group of German fans, understood to be part of a far-right contingent, threw beer cans at media representatives as they attempted to film close to the station. Some of the bars were later closed to allow a clean-up of the area.
Staff in restaurants near La Grande Place were fearful that violence would return after the final whistle.
“The German and Ukrainian guys had too much to drink and started fighting,” said waiter Jan Lamballis.
“There were between 50 and 100 people [involved]. The police came in to separate people but it lasted 10 or 15 minutes.
“People were shocked – they didn’t know what was going on.”
The scenes cast a further shadow over the opening days of the tournament in France, which has seen violent confrontations between police and supporters in Marseille in particular.
English and Russian counterparts were teargassed after clashes near the old port area, shortly before the meeting of the two sides in their Group B opener.
The 1-1 draw was followed by more unsavoury scenes as Russian hooligans charged England fans after breaking through a poorly-segregated area of the stands.
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