Eiffel Tower closed for a day after Euro 2016 clashes
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The Eiffel Tower was closed Monday after clashes broke out Sunday night between police and fans gathered to watch the Euro 2016 football final between France and Portugal.
The Eiffel Tower management said the French capital’s famed landmark could "not be opened in the proper security conditions" Monday after the clashes in which youths set alight rubbish bins, a car and a scooter before being dispersed by the police.
Around 40 people were arrested in Paris Sunday after police used tear gas and a water cannon against football fans hurling glass bottles at officers at the Eiffel Tower.
Crowds of supporters, some donning French or Portuguese flags, gathered at the base of the Paris landmark before and after Portugal's stunning 1-0 victory over France after they were refused entry to the fan zone which was packed to its 90,000-person capacity, Paris police said.
Other arrests took place outside the Stade de France where the match was played. They were for public disorder offences.
The base of the Eiffel Tower was engulfed in clouds of tear gas as riot police repelled the youths, who started fires on the pavement and threw bottles and other objects at the police lines, AFP photographers said. Police in riot gear faced off with crowds, while at least one police truck fired water at demonstrators.
The police, who had posted a message on Twitter and issued warnings in the Metro informing supporters the fan zone was full, used a water cannon to extinguish the blazes.
The ground was littered with broken fencing and shattered glass as evening fell, with piles of rubbish burning. Firefighters were later deployed to put out larger blazes on the streets of Paris, including at least one car that was set on fire.
Last week, riot police fired tear gas in clashes with youths on the Champs Elysees avenue in Paris after France's qualification for the Euro 2016 final.
Earlier clashes between fans at the June 11 England-Russia match in Marseille left 35 people injured in violence that French prosecutors have largely blamed on around 150 "well-prepared" Russian supporters who carried out targeted attacks on England supporters.
Portugal's shock win over France in the European Championship final was the country's first international title, though superstar Cristiano Ronaldo was forced to watch the match injured from the touchline.
The buildup to the football tournament had been overshadowed by fears of jihadist violence following November attacks that left 130 people in Paris dead. In the days before the tournament kicked off, unions disrupted trains and grounded planes and uncollected rubbish built up in the streets in strikes and protests against labour reforms.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)