As France became world champions for a second time beating Croatia 4-2 in Moscow, cops were forced to use water canon on fans who went on violent rampages. It was gathered that in Alpine city of Annecy, a 50-year-old France fan broke his neck after jumping into a canal at the end of the team’s 4-2 triumph over Croatia in Moscow on Sunday. In nearby Saint-Felix, there was another death when a man in his 30s died when his car crashed into a tree as he celebrated the win.
The death of the two fans were accompanied by baton charges by CRS riot squads, as tear gas was used to keep crowds in order. The worst clashes however, were in the centre of the capital where the Champs Elysee remained shut into the early hours of this morning.
Looters broke into shop fronts and smashed windows before they were driven back by riot police brandishing shields. About 30 people, many wearing ski masks, broke into the Publicis Drugstore, leaving with bottles of wine and champagne, smiling and filming themselves with cellphones.
Some also threw objects including bottles and chairs at police forces who responded with tear gas.
A police source in Paris said: “Rioting broke out soon after midnight as large crowds refused to disperse.“Shops including the Publicis Drugstore close to the Arc de Triumphe were ransacked.
“Windows were smashed and officers who intervened were attacked. There have been scenes of absolute chaos that have spoiled the party.”
As the trouble intensified, the authorities shut all transport links, including Metro services and other local trains. Some 4,000 police and security forces had been deployed across the French capital in case of trouble following France’s first World Cup final appearance since 2006.
There was also serious trouble in the eastern city of Lyon, where hundreds of youths went on the rampage, attacking cars and setting fire to wheelie-bins. Public fountains and other monuments in cities such as Bordeaux and Marseille, as well as Lyon, were filled with youths brandishing flares and throwing bottles.
French police fired tear gas and dispersed crowds from the Champs Elysees late on Sunday after clashes with a small group of unruly fans threatened to spoil the celebrations.
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