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Angry Algerians Rumble in Marseille over Cairo Soccer Loss
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November 16, 2009, 03:09 AM
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Islam meets soccer in France... what could possibly go wrong?

European soccer fans can get rowdy even under normal circumstances, but throw Islam plus immigrant nationalism into the mix, and the situation becomes still more incendiary, as shown in Saturday`s fracas. The port city of Marseille experienced an outbreak of serious rioting when local Algerians became miffed at their team`s poor showing in a World Cup qualifier match that took place in Cairo.

Authorities sent in more than 500 police to restore order on the streets — diversity doesn`t come cheap.

Violence in Marseille over Algeria, Egypt soccer, Reuters, November 14, 2009

Rioters smashed shop windows, hurled stones at police and set fire to several boats moored in the southern French port of Marseille after Egypt beat Algeria in a soccer World Cup qualifying match on Saturday.

A police spokesman said more than 500 officers were deployed in the centre of Marseille, an often volatile city with a large North African immigrant population and football supporters who are considered among the most passionate in France.

Egypt won the match, which was played in Cairo, 2-0.

Police said they had made eight arrests, mostly for throwing objects, while one man was arrested for setting fire to a rubbish bin.

At least six boats were damaged and two were sunk when a fire was sparked by a smoke bomb of the kind seen frequently in French football stadiums.