Two fans die as France's World Cup celebrations are marred by police violence

10:39 • 16.07.18



Two football fans have died in France overnight as World Cup celebrations were marred by violence following the national side's victory over Croatia in Moscow.


Police forces fired tear gas as scuffles and pockets of looting broke out on the Champs-Élysées where a million people partied into the night. 


Revellers set off smoke bombs in the national colours - blue, white and red - obscuring Napoleon's triumphal arch as police tackled the crowd using water canons, the Daily Mail reports.


People climbed atop every newspaper kiosk and bus stop in the area to wave flags and lead the crowds below in cheers. The national anthem, the Marseillaise, rang out, cars honked horns and cherry bombs cracks.  Looters broke into shop fronts and smashed windows before they were driven back by riot police brandishing shields.  


In the 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. Then, in nearby Saint-Felix, there was another death when a man in his 30s crashed his car into a tree as he celebrated the win.


Hundreds of police in riot gear were discretely lined up on side streets to monitor revelers. Typically, celebrations in France end up with some broken shop windows and other destruction, and Sunday was no exception. 


Tear gas was lobbed at one point on the Champs-Elysees. About 4,000 police watched over the fan zone - packed to its 90,000 capacity - during the match, then moved to the Champs-Elysees and neighboring streets. 

 

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.

 

"That's not how you celebrate," a tearful bystander wearing a French team jersey said.


As the hundreds of thousands of revellers gradually left the famous avenue, police used water cannon to disperse remaining troublemakers at around 11.30pm.

Elsewhere in France, authorities said clashes erupted in the southern city of Lyon between police and about 100 youths who had climbed on top of a police vehicle at an open-air showing of the match in the city centre. 


As night fell, The Eiffel Tower flashed 1998-2018 to mark France's two World Cup titles.


The Arc de Triomph was awash in the national colours, lit with the rooster, the faces of the winning team and the words 'Proud to be Blue,' or French. The celebrations were spread across the nation.


For all the crazy antics - and some revellers who got out of control - a sense of patriotism and unity was almost visceral.     

 

Earlier the crowds had gathered next to the Eiffel tower to watch the match on vast TV screens.


There were choruses of the Marseillaise and hundreds of thousands of red, white and blue French flags fluttering in the breeze.


The boom of fireworks and firecrackers filled the air and car drivers honked their horns incessantly to celebrate France's second world title after their triumph on home soil in 1998.

 

 

It was a victory for all of France as crowds poured into Paris' Champs-Elysees Avenue (pictured) by the tens of thousands

Even before the final whistle in Moscow, crowds packed the Champs Elysees in central Paris in a repeat of the scenes of 1998. Pictured: Water cannons are used to clear revelers from the Avenue

French fans faced off against riot police on the packed Champs-Elysee as officers attempt to disperse massive crowds. Pictured: A man falls to the floor after inhaling tear gas as French football fans clash with police following celebrations around the Arc de Triomph

France's 4-2 win over Croatia in the World Cup final marks the second time in 20 years France has won the World Cup

France fans clash on the Champs-Elysee following their nation's win in Moscow

About 4,000 police watched over the fan zone - packed to its 90,000 capacity - during the match, then moved to the Champs-Elysees and neighboring streets

Dozens of youths shattered windows at a popular store on the Champs Elysees avenue as festivities spiraled out of control

Some 4,000 police and security forces have been deployed across Paris during the World Cup festivities, and a vast security perimeter prohibiting vehicle access has been set up around the Champs Elysees avenue

As the hundreds of thousands of revellers gradually left the famous avenue, police used water cannon to disperse remaining troublemakers at around 11:30pm

Hundred of thousands of French fans flooded the Champs-Elysees to celebrate their nation's World Cup win

Triumph: 90,000 people gathered next to the Eiffel tower to watch the match on vast TV screens

French fans on the Champs de Mars near the Eiffel Tower watch their team's triumph against Croatia in the World Cup final 

French fans celebrate their side's victory in front of the Arc de Triomphe on the Champs Elysees in Paris on Sunday

France fans celebrate in Paris as they watch their side claim a second World Cup title with a win over Croatia in Moscow 

Paris erupts as French fans celebrate their side's World Cup triumph on the Champs-Elysees in the city centre today 

 





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