Hurled insults, hooliganism and the occasional bloodied head is certainly nothing new at a soccer match—in fact, fighting in the bleachers is practically a game requirement. But a recent bout of particularly violent conflicts between Russian and English football fans at the Euro 2016 championship in France has crossed the line from somewhat scary to downright dangerous. Authorities, desperate to quash the fighting, are placing the blame on alcohol.
The French government (in particular Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve) is urging cities hosting the Euro 2016 games to ban booze near venues and fan zones for 48 hours before games. The proposed ban also specifies that bars and restaurants should not serve drinks on terraces in containers that could ultimately be used as weapons.
Fights between fans and the police had been escalating in Marseilles before the Russia-England game on Saturday and came to a breaking point after the 1-1 draw when Russian fans began firing flares and busting through barriers meant to keep opposing sides separate. A number of Russian supporters were seen kicking and punching English fans as they struggled to climb over fencing to escape. The incident left 35 people injured and three in serious condition.