While a wave of jubilant celebrations has swept across France following Les Bleus’ FIFA World Cup victory, sporadic clashes between police and over-excited fans erupted in several cities amid the nationwide football fest.
As the nation cheered the French 4-2 triumph over Croatia, some hardcore fans could not contain their excitement, somewhat spoiling the historic evening with violence. While most Parisians took to the Champs Elysees, a few rowdy fans started thrashing the side streets of Paris.
Parisian law enforcement officers had to deploy tear gas and water cannons to stop unruly groups from vandalizing the streets of the capital, damaging shops and setting trash cans on fire.
Several graceless incidents also took place in Lyon, where fans targeted the police by throwing empty cans at them. Centering around the Bellecour area, where a fan zone had been set up to welcome the public, the restless crowd did not shy away from expressing their emotions with violence. The police fired back using tear gas. Firefighters also had to intervene to extinguish fires set to trash cans.
The party mood was also ruined in Marseille, where firecrackers, smoke flares, and projectiles were thrown at police lines. Law enforcement had to intervene using tear gas to suppress the crowd, which also smashed car windows and set trash cans on fire. At least 10 arrests were made, according to reports.
Similar disturbances were witnessed in Rouen where two journalists were injured during violent outbursts from the crowd. Police had to move in to quell the violence.
#FRACRO 🇫🇷 à #Rouen : nous avons été violemment frappés, @j_bouteiller et moi quittons l’hdv avec les pompiers.— simon louvet (@LouvetSimon) July 15, 2018
L’intervention de la police a été réclamée, quittez le secteur, des groupes violents s’attaquent aux supporters.
Le direct sur @76actu : https://t.co/y7EF6ktjyD pic.twitter.com/f6Jyye52Ob
Naked supporters in Bordeaux were seen celebrating the French victory, as excited fans invaded one of the city's fountains. The feast was so grand, that fans even set a vehicle on fire in Gambetta Square.
Besides sporadic clashes, however, the rest of the country celebrated the World Championship in style, with tricolor-waving supporters flooding the streets, jumping and screaming for joy over the French second World Cup.