Sunday 11 December 2016

Ticket touting, pitch invading and assault: The Northern Ireland fans arrested at Euro 2016

Michael McHugh

Published 29/06/2016 | 21:28

Northern Ireland fans at the The Eiffel Tower before the UEFA Euro 2016 Round of 16 match between Wales and Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland fans at the The Eiffel Tower before the UEFA Euro 2016 Round of 16 match between Wales and Northern Ireland

Eleven Northern Ireland football fans have been arrested at Euro 2016, a Home Office minister has said.

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The fans were suspected of assault, criminal damage, pitch invasion and ticket touting, details revealed in Parliament showed.

Short-lived trouble broke out in Nice on the French south coast ahead of Northern Ireland's opening fixture against Poland, violence which supporters blamed on local "ultras".

England topped the arrests list for the UK countries, with 45 supporters detained in France, followed by 11 from Northern Ireland and nine linked to Wales, according to Mike Penning.

The early days of the football tournament were marred by trouble - both inside and outside of the stadium - involving Russian and English supporters in Marseille.

And Tory frontbencher Mr Penning said the vast majority of UK fans had been "tarnished" by a small minority who were involved in the "most abhorrent violence" seen for many years.

The Tottenham Hotspur supporter said: "With regards to the Euros, 65 UK supporters were arrested - 45 English, 11 Northern Irish and nine from Wales.

"Let me give the House an indication of the offences. So England, six for assault, 14 for public order, 13 for drunkenness, nine for criminal damage, two for drugs and one for ticket touting.

"Northern Ireland - two for criminal damage, two for public order, one for drunkenness, four for assault, one for ticket touting, and one for pitch encroachment, it used to be called invasion."

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