June 20, 2016

Friction in France as Euros Kick Off

By Engerlund

There are reports that at least 36 people have been arrested in Lille, France, following clashes with the French police who are trying to maintain order at Euro 2016. The police claim the arrests were made on Wednesday, and also mentioned that at least 16 people have been taken to the hospital following injuries they sustained.

Flares were set off and riot police charged at the fans using tear gas, even after the continental football governing body, UEFA, threatened to disqualify England if the violence that has been on for days continued. There were a lot of clashes between English, Russian and French fans, attracting condemnation from all quarters.

Russia was even given Suspended Disqualification and fined as well for the role of their fans in the riot.

The French police were accused of not doing enough to manage the situation and England sent some officers experienced in handling football fans to help out, but the fans still continued to cause mayhem.

Fans aged 20 to 41 from England have since been given jail sentences ranging from one to three months for their roles in the fracas that ensued during the England-Russia game, which finished 1-1 on Saturday, with the police bringing in special measures to ban alcohol in a bid to manage the situation. The Football Supporters’ Federation through Vince Alm claimed that the alcohol ban was not enforceable as there were a lot of outlets.

The police also asked those with tickets to England’s next game against Wales to only travel on the day of the game and threatened that they would continue with their deportation of fans who were involved in violent activities.

And things didn’t get much better for England on the field, with former England international Joey Barton saying that the current assistant manager of the Three Lions Gary Neville knows nothing about the job, and wouldn’t be the man to help England get the vital goals they need.

Barton seriously questioned the pedigree of the former Manchester United skipper, saying the players in the English national team belittle Gary Neville as they are aware that he is very good at criticizing other coaches and players on Sky Sports as TV pundit but when given the job to manage a club (Valencia) he flopped. Neville was sacked as the club’s coach following his disastrous performance as the head of the coaching crew.  

Barton told TalkSport “Not knocking Gary Neville, he talks great about the game, but you look at his results as a coach. That’s the objective data. He’s not at the level everyone thought he was. Top player, top pundit, but there’s a difference when you’re trying to get people at it.”

Barton was confident about his statement saying that the English players are all talking about his failure with Valencia. He also added that the players all doubt his credibility to lead the national team or to give useful coaching advice.

Neville will hoping to give useful tips on how to stop Gareth Bale and others as well as win the match but Barton says the advice will do nothing to the players as they don’t see him in that light in the first place.