Northern Ireland

Euro 2016: Northern Ireland fans hurt in Nice pub clash

A police officer from Northern Ireland with a police officer from France Image copyright PA
Image caption Police officers from Northern Ireland are assisting French police throughout Euro 2016

Six Northern Ireland football fans have been injured after disorder started outside a bar in which they were drinking in the French city of Nice.

Supporters of Northern Ireland and Poland were in the pub together on Saturday night ahead of Sunday's Euro 2016 match between the two countries.

Police said French hooligans started the trouble at about 23:00 local time, but about a dozen Northern Ireland fans retaliated and one was arrested.

One Polish fan was also injured.

Image caption One Northern Ireland fan held the hand of an injured Poland fan in an ambulance after the disorder

A group of 20 to 30 French hooligans arrived outside the pub where Northern Irish fans and Polish fans were drinking and singing.

Bottles were thrown and punches were exchanged.

Supt Nigel Goddard of the Police Service of Northern Ireland is in the city on the south coast of France as part of an international policing operation for the tournament.

He said: "It's clear to me that the Nice fans provoked this incident, but a number of Northern Ireland fans did respond."

But he added that the vast majority of supporters "have behaved really well".

Adam Carr, one of the Northern Ireland fans injured in the trouble, said people in hooded tops "stormed the crowd" and then threw bottles.

"The bottles were coming over the top and I was trying to get out of the way of them, trying to back into the bar," he said.

Image caption Adam Carr said people in hooded tops "stormed the crowd" and then threw bottles

"After a couple of minutes I realised [one had] sliced me, I was dripping with blood - I had to go to hospital and got four stitches.

"There were about six or seven Northern Irish boys in the ambulances, boys with their heads cut open."

Supt Goddard said relationships between Northern Ireland and the Poland fans "have been excellent".

"They've been using the same pubs, singing songs and having a great time."

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