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Police in Lille prohibits Russian fans to carry Russian flags around town

June 15, 1:45 UTC+3 LILLE
"We just wanted to sing our songs, the ways the Brits do it but the policemen came over to us and took away our flags and passports," a fan told TASS
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LILLE, France, June 14. /TASS/. Police in Lille where the Russian national team plays versus Slovakia on Wednesday has prohibited Russian fans to carry their country's flags around the city, a fan told TASS.

About a hundred British fans, many of them half-drunk, gathered in a bar on the square in front of the railway stations. On the opposite side of the square, police officers stopped a group of Russian fans.

"We just wanted to sing our songs, the ways the Brits do it but the policemen came over to us and took away our flags and passports," he said. "They said they couldn’t protect us. When we told them we were in Europe and we felt like singing our songs with our flags, they told us France isn’t Europe."

"Then they copied out our data and returned the flags and passports to us," the fan said. "Why can the Brits do it (sing songs and wave flags - TASS) and we can’t? They told us we should be never seen with the flags here again.

Somewhat earlier, one of the British fans out of the mob that had gathered on the square took out a small Russian flag. Then the mob started waving it in front of the TV crews that had also gathered in the same place. After that, another fan threw it on the ground and trampled on it.

On the same day, the TASS correspondent saw a crowd of Welsh fans make provocative gestures towards the Russian team and chant insulting anti-Russian slogans.

Russia plays versus Slovakia at 15:00 hours Central European Daylight Time on Wednesday in Lille and England plays versus Wales in Lens, 40 km away from Lille, on Thursday.

The Russia-England game took place in Marseilles on June 11 but clashes between Russian and British fans began two days earlier, with police compelled to use tear gas and water cannons. Tensions reached culmination right in the Stade Velodrome Stadium after the match when a group of Russian fans broke into England’s sector and a brawl between the two camps began.

UEFA has issued a warning that the Russian national team ran the risk of disqualification from the tournament in case of more violent incidents.

French police detained as many as 43 Russians in southern France in connection with an investigation over the brawl, which left one of the British fans in a critical condition.

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