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Tuesday, June 16, 1998 Published at 20:34 GMT 21:34 UK


Sport: Football

England fans booted out

The scenes of fighting have horrified authorities in Tolouse


BBC Special Correspondent Ben Brown reports
Twenty-five England fans, who were arrested by police in Marseille during the violence of the last three days, have now been released.

The French Interior Ministry has said they are free to attend England's remaining matches in the World Cup.

Seven more alleged football hooligans have been appearing in court in Marseille on Tuesday evening.

They were all arrested on Monday at the Prado beach, where violence erupted among fans watching the England-Tunisia match on a big screen.

Five English fans and one Tunisian have already been expelled from France, and three Englishmen have been jailed after the disturbances on Saturday, Sunday and Monday.

Five more supporters have been remanded in custody, while one man has been released on unconditional bail.

The 25 fans released on Tuesday evening were the last English supporters being held by the authorities in Marseille, apart from those already jailed, and the alleged hooligans appearing in court on Tuesday evening.


[ image: French riot police will escort fans out of Marseille]
French riot police will escort fans out of Marseille
The French interior ministry is taking a number of moves to prevent further violence at the World Cup.

Interior Minister Jean-Pierre Chevenement said more fans would be thrown out of France if further violent outbreaks occurred.

In a separate incident a busload of up to 60 people, described as known football hooligans from throughout Scotland, has been stopped by French police at the France-Spain border

'English Government should pay'

The clean-up operation was continuing in Marseille as the English fans bore the brunt of the criticism for the violence.

The deputy mayor of Marseille called on the British Government to compensate his city for damage caused by England fans.

Renaud Muselier, who is also a French MP, told BBC Radio 4's Today programme that Marseille had already demanded compensation.

Asked who should pay up, he said: "The English Government."

He said: "Our city, known as a meeting place of nations, cannot tolerate this provocation and behaviour which tarnishes its image.

"Quite apart from the official excuses for these unfortunately predictable events, our town is waiting for the British authorities to pay for the cost of the damage.

"The supporters behaved in the streets like louts."

But local newspapers have criticised their police over the tactics which delivered Marseille into the hands of hooligans for three days.

The police have been accused of timidity in dealing with outbreaks of violence which paralysed the city from Saturday until Tuesday.

Riot police were "strangely absent" when bottle throwing and pitched battles erupted, La Provence newspaper said.

The local press in Toulouse, where England play Romania on Monday, has also reacted in horror at the violence in Marseille.

"Don't spoil our party" and "Go home hooligans!" said the headlines of Depeche du Midi.

Alain Bidou, prefect of the Midi Pyrenees region, has already requested 180 extra riot police in addition to 1,600 officers assigned to match duty.

Toulouse emergency meeting

Toulouse police chiefs are holding an emergency riot strategy meeting to prevent a repeat of the violence.

A police spokeswoman said: "We have a lot to plan for.

"We have learnt a lot from what we have seen in Marseille and we want to make sure residents and visitors will be safe against any hooligans."

Plans to erect giant outdoor screens to transmit the match to ticketless fans have been scrapped and bars and restaurants may be ordered to shut hours earlier than usual.

Toulouse mayor Dominique Baudis also wants to postpone public celebrations planned to mark the national Day of Music on Sunday.

Instant Justice

The three jailed men, one of whom is understood to be known to UK police as a hooligan, were dealt with swiftly, hours after being arrested during trouble between English and Tunisian supporters.


[ image: An English supporter is attacked by Tunisian fans]
An English supporter is attacked by Tunisian fans
Graham Whitby and Christopher Anderson, both postmen aged 26 and from Liverpool, were sentenced to three months after being found guilty of setting fire to a car.

James Shayler, of Wellingborough, Northamptonshire, was jailed for two months. He is believed to be on the police's "category C" list of football hooligans.

All three men were banned from France for a further year once they have served their sentences.

The British embassy in Marseille said 36 Britons had been arrested, four on Saturday, 27 on Sunday and five on Monday.

The city authorities said 63 people had been injured in the three days of fighting and eight Britons remain in hospital in Marseille.

One is understood to be in a "relatively serious" condition after being stabbed.



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