Foreign Legion troops spat on police in Euro stadium brawl

Nice (France) (AFP) – Two Hungarian members of France’s legendary Foreign Legion force spat on police who were trying to stop fighting in a Euro 2016 stadium, a French court was told Monday.

The two were among five Hungarians and a Slovak who received jail terms of up to six months for the latest violence to hit the European Championship finals.

The Foreign Legion fighters, renowned for their discipline, were found guilty of offensive acts against police and failing to follow orders during the unrest in the Stade Velodrom in Marseille before Hungary’s game against Iceland on Saturday.

They were given suspended two-month jail terms.

The two were drunk and said to have spat on police struggling to hold back Hungarian fans who crossed security barriers to get into the same section of the stadium.

Riot police had to move in to end the attacks on police and stewards.

A 25-year-old Hungarian filmed taking part in attacks on police during the brawl was also sentenced to six months in jail.

Prosecutors said one police officer was pushed to the ground and hit with his own baton by the man.

A fourth Hungarian caught in Marseille’s city centre with a bag containing flares, a ski mask and a gum shield was given a suspended 15 days jail term. Prosecutor Olivier Sabine called it “the perfect hooligan kit.”

A Hungarian and Slovak man who tried to smuggle flares into the stadium were also given suspended 15 day terms.

A French-Albanian man who hid a banned flare in his rectum to smuggle it into a fan zone was to appear in court in Nice on Monday.

Two people were hurt when the flare was set off, prosecutors said.

Pat-down searches at the Nice fan zone before last Wednesday’s match between France and Albania failed to find the 18 centimetre (seven-inch) by four centimetre (1.6-inch) flare which was reportedly hidden in a condom.

The 18-year-old set off the flare in the fan zone causing burns to two people as well as himself, prosecutors said.

An Albanian was charged over a knife fight in the fan zone in Lyon the same night in which two people were injured, prosecutors said.

The suspect is said to have stabbed one Belgian fan in the bottom and a Frenchman in the leg. 

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