England fans hit by three-day Euro 2016 city-wide alcohol bans
We shouldn't forget that there has been some great football to enjoy at Euro 2016 so far, but it's impossible to ignore the fact that fan violence has cast a shadow over the tournament.
In an attempt to avoid unsavoury scenes like the ones in Marseille during the opening weekend, a drinking ban has been enforced in the cities of Lille and Lens from 6pm this evening until Friday morning.
Breaking... Alcohol ban in Lens and Lille from 6pm today until 6am Friday. No off license sale of alcohol permitted
— Kaveh Solhekol (@SkyKaveh) June 14, 2016
French police have been using tear gas and water cannons to break up fighting between locals and supporters of Russia and England, and Russia were today handed suspended disqualification, meaning further violence in stadiums will see them kicked out of the tournament.
They play Slovakia in Lille on Wednesday before England face Wales in nearby Lens the following day. Many of the travelling England support are staying in Lille, and fans without tickets for the match have been urged not to make the journey to Lens.
For the duration of the ban, alcohol will not be sold in off-licences or supermarkets, and drinking in public areas will be prohibited. Fans will still be able to drink in bars, but only until midnight - and all drinks must be served in plastic containers.
According to Sky Sports News, there will be an increased presence of both stewards and high-profile police in the stadiums. Downing Street has also confirmed that more police will be sent from Britain to provide assistance.
At the end of England's 1-1 draw with Russia at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday, video footage emerged of Russians fans breaking through their segregated area to pursue England supporters.
England fans (and many French people too) climbing fences to avoid Russian supporters pic.twitter.com/ryE9JXSwwP
— Nick Eardley (@nickeardleybbc) June 11, 2016
It was also reported by The Independent that 300 Russian hooligans launched a co-ordinated attack on England fans ahead of the game.