Football fans have clashed with riot police in France after Les Bleus progressed into their second successive World Cup final on Wednesday night. France defeated Morocco 2-0 in their semi-final encounter in Qatar, which led to passionate celebrations en masse in the nation’s capital.
At least 2500 police officers are reportedly stationed at the Champs-Elysees in Paris after anticipating violent clashes between France and Morocco fans after their World Cup match. One video has shown what looks like French fans celebrating their victory on the famous strip, only to be charged at and struck with batons by riot police.
Fans in their thousands have been filmed jumping around and shouting, ‘We’re going to the final!’ after Theo Hernandez and Randal Kolo Muani’s goals on either side of half-time secured a momentous victory at the Al Bayt Stadium. Didier Deschamps’ side will face Lionel Messi and Argentina to become the first country to retain the World Cup since Brazil 60 years ago.
But celebrations in Paris have been marred by violence from riot police officers likely trying to simmer the scenes on one of France’s most famous landmarks. French police have confirmed that two arrests have been made at the Champs-Elysees for the use of fireworks.
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Chaotic images are also emerging from Montpellier, where there have been clashes between French and Moroccan fans in the city centre.
Videos show fans climbing a monument holding red flares and fireworks being set off on the ground, causing crowds to quickly scatter to avoid the explosion. There are also reports of rioting and clashes in Belgium’s capital, Brussels, between Belgian police and Moroccan fans.
A French citizen in the city has been forced to remove his country’s flag from his balcony after the window to his apartment was targeted by rocks and fireworks. There have also been mirrored antics in Montpellier, with those on the streets also being hit by fireworks going off on the ground in unsavoury scenes.
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