The French government was forced to announce a ban on all alcohol around any Euro 2016 stadiums and fan zones. The announcement was made on Sunday and comes in the wake of fan violence over the past three days.
“I have asked for all necessary measures to be taken to prohibit the sale, consumption and transport of alcoholic drinks in sensitive areas on match days and the day before, and on days when fan zones are open,” Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve said of the ban.
Marseille particularly has been the scene of a number of incidents in and around the Stade Velodrome for the two nations’ opening Group B game in the competition. Before and after England and Russia’s match, there was violent scenes which resulted in the injury to a number of fans.
Authorities had to deploy more than 1,200 riot police after hundred of fans, majority of whom were influenced by alcohol, started throwing bottles and chairs at each other.
France’s government also vowed to expel any foreign football hooligans, and has made it clear that the rather unnecessary violence during the competition is distracting the police from fighting more dangerous terrorism.
Meanwhile Jamie Vardy’s wife, Rebekah Vardy, also spoke of the matter and said that she felt threatened by the police, rather than feeling safe or protected by the police’s “heavy-handed tactics” on Saturday. She criticised the authorities for their lack of organization in and around the stadium with their also being no proper security checks outside.
She said, “My heart was pounding all of the game. There was a humongous bang. Some people thought it was a bomb. The Russians started letting flares off. The security was shocking. They didn’t have enough manpower – nobody checked my bag when I went through. I can’t believe that a nation that has recently had terrorist attacks isn’t more prepared. They just couldn’t cope. When you tried to ask the police for advice they wouldn’t even speak to you; it was like you didn’t exist.”
UEFA also released a strongly worded statement and said that Russia and England could both be disqualified if similar scenes happened in other matches.