Nîmes: 5 police injured in football fan battles

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After the match between Nîmes Olympique against Lens on Friday night, some fans started a new game in their own way in a pub close to the square de la Bouquerie.

At around midnight, a fight broke out between drunken supporters and security guards and the arrival of the police did not calm things – far from it.

[It may surprise some readers to learn that as a Chelsea fan I have occasionally found myself in such situations. Just as on this occasion, I have never seen police intervention in France, Spain or Italy improve matters. The French police are just too macho and want to join in the fight! Ed]

Two national police officers and three municipal police officers were slightly injured and were granted temporary time off work.

Three Lens fans were remanded in custody. The irony is that they were able to attend the game earlier in the evening despite the prefecture banning people “being fans RC Lens or bof ehaving as such” from the stadium of Costières de Nîmes”.

The away fans’ terraces remained empty, something fiercely criticized by Nîmes’ supporters on a banner.

But if this daft edict avoided incidents at the stadium, it was clearly not the same in the city centre.

[Euro 2016 approaches fast. If the French police in charge of policing football matches don’t get their act together pretty soon, and be more selective with their edicts, things could get very messy in the summer. They could do worse than spend some time with the Swedish authorities whose crowd management skills are the best I’ve encountered across Europe. Ed]