French police gear up for final of football’s Africa Cup of Nations


Thousands of police will be on the streets in French cities for the Algeria-Senegal football final of the Africa Cup of Nations on Friday night after more than 200 people were arrested when Algeria fans celebrated their semi-final win on Sunday.

France, which was a colonial power in Algeria for more than 130 years, has a large number of dual nationality French-Algerians. More than half of the Algerian football team are players who were born, raised or trained in France. When, on Sunday, Algeria reached the final of the tournament – which is being held in Egypt – large crowds gathered for celebrations in the streets of cities such as Marseille and Paris.

Cars drove around central Paris beeping, with people hanging from windows waving Algerian flags, and crowds gathered on the Champs-Elysées to cheer. But a minority of people were stopped by police after smashing windows or attempting to break into shops. Riot police fired teargas to disperse crowds around the Champs-Elysées and 169 people were arrested in Paris. In total, 282 arrests were made across France after the semi-final, most for refusing to comply with police orders, throwing projectiles or endangering life.(The Guardian)…[+]