Fans clash with police

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND SUPPORTERS twice clashed with riot police last night as scuffles broke out in St Etienne.

Fighting between English fans and North African youths came after the latter had threatened to burn an English flag. Reports said the youths were intent on revenge over the English-Tunisian clashes after the match in Marseilles two weeks ago. Riot police intervened and 10 people were arrested, one of whom was English.

Later trouble started after police moved in to clear a square where English supporters in the town for tonight's game against Argentina had been watching the Yugoslavia v the Netherlands match on a large screen. Witnesses said that as police moved in fans turned on photographers. Several dozen threw bottles as police snatch squads moved in to arrest ringleaders.

Yesterday, England fans were involved in another struggle - to find tickets for tonight's game. The asking price for tickets with a face value of between pounds 14 and pounds 35 was pounds 500. The official allocation for England fans is only 2,049 tickets for a stadium which holds 36,000.

Fans who cannot get in will have one consolation - they will be able to watch the match with a beer in bars and restaurants, after local authorities ruled that there should be no alcohol ban.