Hours after the nation’s football team clinched the World Cup in Russia, elation was replaced by an eruption of violence and rioting on the streets of France that left two people dead and saw more than 500 people arrested.
Les Blues claimed the country’s second World Cup with a 4-2 win over Croatia at Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow on Sunday, adding to the maiden win at their home tournament at France 98.
Joy turned to tragedy when ugly scenes broke out across the country. It is reported that more than 500 people were arrested during the evening after the win and around 100,000 police officers were out on the streets.
A further 44,000 firefighters were called in to deal with the scenes and a further 845 cars were vandalised during the disturbances. Metro services and other public transport were temporarily suspended at the height of the disturbances.
Crowds assembled en masse all across the country following win, which cemented France’s second World Cup win in 20 years, French National Reserve Police were called in to use tear gas and water cannons to quell crowd disturbances.
A 50-year-old man was reported to have died after he broke his neck jumping into a shallow canal and a further person died in the city of Annecy in the country’s southeast. In the northern town of Saint-Felix, a man in his thirties was reported to have died after driving his car into a tree while celebrating the country’s win.
BREAKING: Violence and riots have erupted in Paris following World Cup celebrations.— France Football 🇫🇷 (@FrenchFutbol) July 15, 2018
Armed forces have been deployed but several businesses have been looted and vehicles have been vandalized. 🇫🇷pic.twitter.com/5jp7xrpWXh
Similar scenes had plagued France’s previous World Cup matches against Uruguay and in their semifinal win over Belgium, which included flares being set off near the famous Arc de Triomphe and a heavy police presence in the streets.