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Clashes of England and Russia fans in Marseille exposes failure of planning | Barney Ronay

While the violence was committed by a small, toxic minority, from the scheduling to the policing the authorities in Marseille failed miserably

When France pitched its glossily framed bid for this championship tournament the campaign slogan plastered across the posters and plinths was “Le Foot comme on l’aime!”. “Football how you like it” is a suitably sunny and inane Big Sport tagline, not to mention – for anyone trying to escape the wild, barking disintegration of Marseille city centre on Saturday night – a source of some rather bitter laughter in the dark. On ne l’aime pas en effet; On ne l’aime pas du tout.

This week Michel Platini, for whom the next few weeks were intended as a kind of coronation, announced his intention to remain grandly absent from the matches. He might just have a point. Bolt the doors, Michel. Judging by the evidence not just of Marseille but also the jumpy, stretched periphery of the opening game in Paris, it could be a long old four weeks.

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