London-based fans of Algeria’s association football team celebrated its win in a match in the Africa Cup of Nations by pouring into the streets of the hyper-diverse British capital to block traffic, hurl fireworks, and trash police cars.
While much of England was celebrating England’s first-ever win in the Cricket World Cup, London residents with roots in Algeria were enjoying the North African country’s win over Nigeria — with many taking to the streets to celebrate the team’s victory in boisterous fashion.
Fans blocked roads in Finsbury Park, Piccadilly Circus, Walthamstow, and Southwark, according to The Sun, stranding cars and buses.
Photographs and videos from the scene show revellers scaling one of the city’s iconic double-decker buses, lighting flares, and launching fireworks down the streets, with reports that at least one police car was damaged by fans climbing on top of it and jumping on the windscreen.
— Rob Hastings (@robhastings) July 14, 2019
Big local support for Algeria round our way… pic.twitter.com/dFVmgITiFl
— Dr Catrin Griffiths (@thelawyercatrin) July 14, 2019
“Some members of the group began setting off fireworks before the crowd grew as the football match concluded,” a statement from the city’s Metropolitan Police Force confirmed.
“A police vehicle has sustained damage to its windshield.”
However, as of the time of publication — and despite footage clearly showing fireworks raining down on police offers and others in the streets — it is reported that there have so far been no arrests made and no reports of injuries.
In France, which hosts Europe’s largest Algerian diaspora community and is accustomed to riotous behaviour after Algerian football matches — including the latest one against Nigeria — a mother and her two daughters were less fortunate following the team’s previous match against the Ivory Coast on Thursday, being mown down by a driver during violent celebrations in Montpellier.
The mother died at the scene, while her one-year-old baby is in critical condition after sustaining traumatic injuries. Her 17-year-old escaped the deadly crash with minor injuries.
VIDEO: Algerian football fans and police clash in Marseille, France, after their team win the Africa Cup of Nations semi-final with a 2-1 victory over three-time champions Nigeria pic.twitter.com/q9Y3V9ZBhT
— AFP news agency (@AFP) July 15, 2019
Commenting on some of the footage of the celebrations, one Leeds-based police Chief Inspector ruefully observed that “Algeria winning important football games isn’t something I miss about no longer being the NPT Insp covering Blacksock Road”.
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