AFCON 2019: Celebrations marred by violence after Algeria’s semi-final win

Fans took to the streets of Paris, Marseille and Lyon on Sunday to celebrate the Algerian national football team’s victory over Nigeria in the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final but the festivities were marred by violence.

Scenes of joy descended into clashes between fans and police in the French cities of Paris, Lyon and Marseille.

Car horns and cries of joy rang out as supporters celebrated on Paris’s Champs-Élysées.

By one o’clock on Monday morning, thousands of fans had gathered on the upper part of the avenue and the situation became tense.

Police used tear gas to break up the crowds. Some fans threw fireworks and other projectiles at police, others set fire to dustbins.

Police said 25 people were arrested.

Several vehicles were torched in Lyon, according to the city’s fire department.

Local officials said police used tear gas to push back fans, who started throwing bottles and fireworks at them, in the city centre and in other surrounding neighbourhoods.

A police source said that some arrests were made.

Several people, amongst the thousands of fans gathered in the la Guillotière neighbourhood, were seen throwing bottles and fireworks at police, according to an AFP journalist.

Firefighters said that shortly before 2am on Monday a dozen or so vehicles were torched in Lyon’s city centre and in other nearby neighbourhoods.

In Marseille, fans reportedly threw firecrackers and smokebombs at police as thousands descended on the port area for Bastille day fireworks.

Police blocked them from entering the port area and several arrests were made.

Security measures were reinforced for Sunday’s match, following deadly clashes and looting last Thursday after Algeria’s match against Ivory Coast.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP)


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