Wednesday, August 5, 1998 Published at 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK
World Cup policeman out of coma
French police pin down a hooligan during violence in Lens
A French policeman who was severely beaten by German hooligans during the World Cup has regained consciousness after being in a coma for six weeks.
But there remain fears that the father-of-two has suffered irreversible brain damage.
An official at Lille hospital in northern France said: "He no longer requires respiratory assistance and spends several hours a day seated in a chair."
The spokesman said Mr Nivel still had serious problems speaking and understanding.
But no more surgery is planned and he is expected to be transferred to a rehabilitation centre in a few weeks, added the official.
Four German football supporters are in custody charged with his attempted murder.
Violence flared in the town on the day of Germany's World Cup match against Yugoslavia.