According to reports, French riot police used water cannons and tear gas after thousands of football fans flocked to the streets of Paris, Nice, and Lyon on Sunday night, seething with anger following the national team’s defeat to Argentina.
Videos posted on social media showed widespread commotion and chaos on the streets in multiple French cities as rocks and fireworks were thrown at police officers and the police responded with tear gas canisters and water cannons.
French riot police clashed with fans on the iconic Champs-Elysees in the capital city of Paris as flares were lit up and fireworks hit the skies after the tense game that finished with a penalty shootout, reports said.
Reports from Lyon said police fired tear gas on football fans as violence broke out in the city.
Social media footage from the city showed violent scenes as supporters draped in flags hurled rocks, bottles and fireworks at law enforcement officers before being fired upon by police.
Reports said that officers could be heard shouting at the crowd, ordering the rioters to “turn around” as water cannons reportedly moved in to disperse the crowds.
Another clip showed a group of football fans throwing rocks and other projectiles at cars before riot police chased them down the street. According to the reports, dozens of people were arrested in the city.
In Nice, video footage showed emergency vehicles driving over burning trash cans left in the middle of the street as clashes erupted in the city.
Several European cities have in recent weeks witnessed deadly riots after their teams lost World Cup matches.
Argentina defeated France in a penalty shootout, 4-2, to claim victory. The South American country has won three World Cups since 1978. France won the marquee football competition in 2018.