Police arrest 36, 16 hospitalized before England-Wales match
French police arrested 36 people and 16 were hospitalized with injuries after violence broke out among fans on Wednesday night before Thursday’s Euro 2016 match between England and Wales.
“UEFA regrets the skirmishes which occurred in Lille last night,” the governing body of European soccer said in a statement, according to ESPN FC. “Police forces made several arrests and were quick to restore order and keep the situation under control.”
Police used tear gas and pepper spray to break up the fights among fans who had ignored the ban on drinking in the streets in Lille, near the city of Lens where the England-Wales match will be held on Thursday.
Fan violence has caused problems throughout the Euro 2016 tournament with Russia earning a suspended disqualification from the tournament after its fans fought with England fans during a match last weekend. On Thursday the Associated Press reported 20 Russian fans will be deported from France for their role in the violence.
England will play Wales in a Group B match at 9 a.m. ET on Thursday.