Euro 2016

French Riot Police Used Tear Gas, Water Cannon to Quell Fans During and After Euro Finals

Tensions escalated underneath the Eiffel Tower and along the Champs-Élysées, in the aftermath of France's loss to Portugal.

by Liam Daniel Pierce
Jul 11 2016, 1:43pm

Situation très tendue à proximité de la #TourEiffel ! #FRAPOR
— Remy Buisine (@RemyBuisine) July 10, 2016

Paris bore witness to unrest during and after the Euro 2016 finals, as French riot police deployed the use of tear gas and water cannons to quell crowds under the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, according to The Independent. And after France's loss to Portugal at the Stade de France, tensions continued along the Champs-Élysées.

During the game fans were trying to enter the crowded fan zone—with a capacity of 90,000—where police denied them entry, and tensions soon broke out. Fans wearing french flags over their faces threw bottles at police officers wielding batons, as trash fires billowed smoke around them.

After the match, police charged at fans along the Champs-Élysées—the main avenue from the Arc de Triomphe to the Eiffel Tower—as fans lit off fireworks.

In the wake of the ISIS attacks on the Stade de France in November, security was set as a priority for this year's Euros, hosted by France. But French authorities have come under fire for inadequately stopping fighting among fan groups early on in the tournament—with some even claiming that police have stoked the violence. For a couple of weeks, tensions between fans and fans, and fans and police, deescalated to a state of relative calm during the quarter finals and semi-finals. But the scenes from tonight appear to be a swing back in the other direction.

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