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Football clashes injure 44 France police

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Bastia’s French Goalkeeper Alphonse Areola makes a save during the French L1 football match Bastia (SCB) vs Marseille (OM), on August 9, 2014 at the Armand Cesari stadium in Bastia.

Clashes prior to and after a football game on the island of Corsica in France have injured 44 police officers.

The game took place between Bastia and Olympique de Marseille in the Stade Armand Cesari on Saturday. Eight of the injured required hospital treatment, but no fan received injury in the clashes.

In a statement, the interior ministry said 10 members of the CRS riot police and 34 gendarmes were “injured or bruised” when violence broke out at the stadium.

The two sides played to an action-packed 3-3 draw in their opening game of the Ligue 1 season.

A source close to the case said scores of supporters of the Bastia team attacked police officers outside the stadium, pelting them with stones and explosive devices.

French authorities said on Sunday there would be a meeting in the coming days with officials of the French football league to put in place a plan to stop such “inadmissible violence.”

Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve and Minister of Youth and Sports Najat Vallaud-Belkacem said in a joint statement that those responsible will face the courts and also be sanctioned, “notably by being banned from stadiums.”

Cazeneuve called for “an end to this violent behavior, especially towards security forces who must be respected.”


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