Euro clashes: Foreign Legion fighters spit on French police at stadium

  • AFP, Nice
  • Updated: Jun 21, 2016 13:43 IST
A van carrying a group of football fans arrives at the international airport of Nice, before they are flown back to Moscow. (AFP Photo)

Two Hungarian members of France’s legendary Foreign Legion force spat on police who were trying to stop fighting in a Euro 2016 stadium, a French court was told Monday.

The two legionnaires were among five Hungarians and a Slovak who received jail terms of up to six months for the latest violence to hit the European Championship finals.

The public prosecutor in the southern French city of Nice meanwhile ruled 11 Spanish fans arrested prior to last Friday’s win by Spain over Turkey in Nice should be expelled.

Six Spanish police working alongside French counterparts identified the 11, some of whom bore tattooed portraits of Hitler and Goebbels and Nazi insignia, as troublemakers.

Four of the group are accused of stealing from and assaulting a supermarket owner in Nice after he refused to sell them alcohol before the game, in line with a tournament ban.

Their expulsion came as two Hungarian Foreign Legion members were found guilty of offensive acts against police during unrest in Stade Velodrome in Marseille before Hungary’s game against Iceland on Saturday.

They were given suspended two-month jail terms.

The two were drunk and said to have spat on police struggling to hold back Hungarian fans who crossed security barriers to get into the same section of the stadium, forcing riot police to intervene.

A 25-year-old Hungarian filmed taking part in attacks on police during the brawl was given a six-month custodial sentence

‘Perfect hooligan kit’

A fourth Hungarian caught in Marseille’s city centre with a bag containing flares, a ski mask and a gum shield was given a suspended 15-day jail term. Prosecutor Olivier Sabine called it “the perfect hooligan kit”.

A Hungarian and Slovak man who tried to smuggle flares into the stadium were also given suspended 15-day sentences.

Meanwhile, a French-Albanian man who hid a banned flare in his rectum to smuggle it into a fan zone was due to appear in court in Nice.

Two people were hurt when the flare was set off, prosecutors said.

Pat-down searches at the Nice fan zone before last Wednesday’s match between France and Albania failed to find the 18 centimetre (seven-inch) by four centimetre (1.6-inch) flare that was reportedly hidden in a condom.

The 18-year-old set off the flare in the fan zone, causing burns to two people as well as himself, prosecutors said.

An Albanian was charged over a knife fight in the fan zone in Lyon the same night in which two people were injured, prosecutors said.

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