Boy killed in World Cup violence
A boy has died in the southern French city of Montpellier after being “violently hit” by a car as rival football fans clashed following France’s World Cup semifinal victory over Morocco on Wednesday.
The youngster, reportedly aged 14, was transported to the hospital after being struck by the vehicle but died shortly after his arrival, according to local officials.
The car was found near the scene and a police investigation is “progressing rapidly,” read a statement from the Department of Herault.
Footage was shared on social media which purportedly showed the incident. In the clip, a white car was seen with what appeared to be a French flag being flown from its window on Montpellier’s Rue de la Mosson.
The vehicle was approached by a group of people before driving off erratically through the crowd. One person was sent crashing onto the hood of the car, while another was crushed under its wheels.
Other footage from Montpellier showed fans setting off fireworks on the street and hurling flares and other projectiles.
The scenes were repeated in Paris, where police were deployed in large numbers to deal with the disturbances.
The violence came after France defeated Morocco 2-0 in their semifinal in Qatar on Wednesday.
The result means Didier Deschamps’ team set up a final against Argentina on Sunday, where France will seek to defend the World Cup title they won in Russia four years ago.
Morocco saw their dream come to an end after being the sensations of the tournament in Qatar, where they became the first ever African team to reach the semifinals of a World Cup.
They will contest the bronze medal match against Croatia on Saturday.
France had been braced for unrest following similar scenes earlier in the World Cup.
Clashes were also seen in cities in Belgium and the Netherlands after large numbers of the Moroccan diaspora took to the streets during their team’s World Cup run.
According to Reuters, around 100 people clashed with police in Brussels following Wednesday’s match, leading to arrests.