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French police break up fight among Polish fans in Marseille

Football Soccer -EURO 2016 - Marseille, France -21/6/16 -A Poland fan is detained by police in Marseille, France. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay
Football Soccer -EURO 2016 - Marseille, France -21/6/16 -A Poland fan is detained by police in Marseille, France. REUTERS/Wolfgang Rattay

MARSEILLE (Reuters) - French police on Tuesday broke up a fight between Polish fans in Marseille and detained two of them ahead of Poland's final Euro 2016 group stage match against Ukraine.

Thousands of Polish supporters swarmed through the narrow streets of the city's Vieux Port (Old Port) district, drinking, chanting and letting off smoke bombs before the match. Poland needs at least a draw to qualify for the knockout phase.

The fight erupted suddenly among a group of hardcore Polish fans and was swiftly quelled by police deployed around the waterfront. Officers led two supporters away in handcuffs as a water canon truck stood by.

The Poland-Ukraine game kicks off at 6 pm local time (1600 GMT).

Fan violence marred the opening days of the tournament and forced European soccer's governing body UEFA to threaten England and Russia with expulsion from the championship. But the violence has largely subsided in recent days.

In Bordeaux Irish supporters, who have endeared themselves to the French with their warm-hearted banter, serenaded officers with chants of: "Stand up for the French police."

(Reporting by Bate Felix and Wolfgang Rattay; Editing by Richard Lough and Gareth Jones)

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