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Football | Europa League

Three held after clash in Lyon

Three Frenchmen, one a member of a far-right organisation, were held for questioning after allegedly assaulting Tottenham fans ahead of the London-based team's Europa League match against Olympique Lyon, police said on Thursday.

Rhone police prefect Jean-Pierre Cazenave-Lacrouts told reporters that the incident occurred on Wednesday night, the eve of the last-32 first leg at Gerland stadium.

"One of them belongs to the identity movement, the other two are Olympique Lyon hooligans," he said.

Three English fans were hurt during the clashes between rival supporters. Seven people were slightly injured," Cazenave-Lacrouts said.

Liam Kirwin, who works at the pub where the incident occurred, told Reuters TV: "I was working at the door at the time, I was asked by a friend of mine to look after the pub.

"I noticed three masked men walk past, obviously checking to see where all the Tottenham fans were, they realised they were all in here and within 10 minutes the first wave of attack came and it was an organised attack of at least 50 people, the first time at least 50.

"They stopped outside the pub, they all at the same time did a Nazi salute and then they charged the pub. That went on for a period of about two minutes and they tried to get to the front doors. I stood at the front door with a bar stool and repelled them.

"They then left and came back about five minutes later, this time a smaller group but this time armed, between 20 and 30 people carrying bats and bottles and weapons that actually hurt. They then tried to get into the pub again.

Kirwin said they kept the group out again and they ran away. The police turned up about 20 minutes later.

"If they had come back a third time we wouldn't have been able to keep them out," Kirwin said. "That is a fact, we were lucky, very lucky."


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