Northern France cities ban alcohol ahead of Euro 2016 matches
LILLE, France (Reuters) - Authorities in the French cities of Lille and Lens, where thousands of English and Russian football fans are due to arrive for the Euro 2016 football tournament, have ordered alcohol bans running from Tuesday to Friday, officials said.
Russian and English fans were involved in violent clashes in Marseille last week before and after the two sides met. They are likely to cross paths again with Russia playing Slovakia in Lille on Wednesday and England facing Wales only 40 km (25 miles) away in Lens on Thursday.
The regional police chief in Lille said in a statement the sale of alcohol would be banned from Tuesday evening until Friday morning and bars in the city centre would be closed from midnight Wednesday until Thursday evening.
In Lens, the police chief said the sale of alcohol would be prohibited from Wednesday 0600 (0400 GMT) to Friday 0600 in shops, supermarkets close to car parks and petrol stations serving between Lille and Lens.
Paris police said later on Tuesday that they were also banning the sale of alcohol to take away to supporters in areas around the Eiffel Tower fan zone and the Parc des Princes stadium during and after some matches.
(Reporting by Pierre Savary and Michel Rose; Writing by John Irish; Editing by Ingrid Melander)