Sunday 21 January 2018

Police forced to intervene with pepper spray as English fans try to provoke Irish in Lyon

French Police confront hooligans in Marseille
French Police confront hooligans in Marseille
Ger Keville

Ger Keville

French police were forced to intervene on England fans who tried to provoke the Irish in Lyon last night.

England play Iceland in Nice on Monday and a number of their fans are staying in Lyon where Ireland play France tomorrow.

One Ireland fan told that the vast majority of England fans in Lyon have been very friendly but one group "tried to provoke trouble" in the early hours outside a fast food restaurant.

"Most have been absolutely sound but one group approached Ireland fans outside a pizza place and started to sing anti-IRA songs. It was quite clear they were looking for trouble and was starting to get nasty," one Ireland fan told

"There was a large crowd of Ireland fans present and they must be commended for not reacting. The French police were nearby and they waded in with pepper spray when they saw the incident escalating.

"They actually had to run around us to confront the English and then chased them down the street.

"While the Ireland fans showed great restraint and just laughed at the English's pathetic actions, there was a sense that patience was running thin and maybe the police sensed that and that's why they intervened."

Ireland fans started to arrive in Lyon yesterday with the majority expected to arrive today and tomorrow.

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