French government bans alcohol around EURO 2016 venues, fan zones

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Alcohol has been banned in areas near EURO 2016 venues and fan zones after the first three days of the quadrennial tournament have been marred by ugly scenes of unruly fan violence, the French government announced on Sunday.

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A few bad apples — many of whom have reportedly traveled to France not to support their respective national team, but for the sole purpose of causing trouble — have done everything in their power to spoil this summer’s tournament for the vast majority of soccer fans capable of acting like grown adults.

The port city of Marseille, site of England versus Russia on Saturday, has been hit hardest by the violence, though the build-up to Sunday’s Germany versus Ukraine fixture in the northern city of Lille saw its own instances of unrest.

[ MORE: UEFA threaten to disqualify England, Russia over fan violence ]

Earlier on Sunday, Interior Minister Bernard Cazeneuve was quoted as saying, “I have asked for all necessary measures to be taken to prohibit the sale, consumption and transport of alcoholic drinks in sensitive areas on match days and the day before, and on days when fan zones are open.”

The ban is mostly aimed at the sale and consumption of alcohol in glass bottles that have frequently been repurposed as projectile weapons.

From the AP:

Local officials will be allowed to decide which areas are “sensitive,” the ministry said. The bans could apply to public spaces, bars around stadiums and stores that sell alcohol for consumption off the premises.

Lens, in the north, has already banned sales of bottles of hard liquor and restricted other alcohol sales.