Joy for Shearer, shame for England

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The Independent Online
ENGLAND's successful start to its World Cup campaign was marred yesterday as more violence broke out in Marseilles.

England beat Tunisia 2-0, at the Stade Velodrome, with goals from Alan Shearer and Paul Scholes, but there was fighting between rival fans before, during and after the game.

This led to warnings from the French government that there could be mass expulsions of England fans if the violence reached the levels of Sunday night's riot.

Jean-Pierre Chevenement, the French interior minister, said: "If there is a repeat of such incidents this evening, I will not hesitate to use emergency expulsion measures."

Last night it appeared that his warning had gone unheeded as England fans were again involved in disturbances in the Old Port area of the City.

Although mass expulsions would quickly remove potential troublemakers from the country, in the case of English fans it would mean that the UK authorities could not then ban them from returning to France.

After Sunday night's violence, which raged on and off for more than nine hours, the atmosphere in Marseilles had been remarkably good-natured yesterday morning as thousands of England fans converged on the stadium, many with tickets bought from touts.

But, as kick-off approached, more violence flared as English and Tunisian supporters threw bottles at each other in the main street outside the stadium. One English supporter was stabbed in the stomach after he and four friends were apparently attacked by a gang of up to 100 French Tunisians.

The worst violence came during the afternoon as around 1,000 English supporters and hundreds of Tunisians watched the match on a screen at Prado Beach in the city. Trouble started after Alan Shearer's goal put England in front. Police broke up the fighting with tear gas and baton charges.

Up to 15 English supporters were due to appear before a magistrate last night charged with disorder offences. There were 30 arrests yesterday, though how many of these were English was not known.

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