Chelsea fans and French police clashed in Lille ahead of the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday night, with police using batons and tear gas.
Many fans traveled to France for Wednesday’s European match against Lille, no doubt hoping to get away from all the trouble off the pitch.
However, a group of their fans ended up clashing with local police, after they chanted Roman Abramovich’s name outside Les 3 Brasseurs bar, opposite Lille-Flandres train station.
Bottles were reportedly thrown by supporters, before police used tear gas and batons to disperse the traveling England supporters, some of whom did not appear to have been involved.
“We have been called to the stand following complaints about the behavior of supporters,” a local police spokesman told the Daily Mail.
“Roads around the area have been cordoned off and there are still isolated pockets of trouble around the town.”
Fans involved in the incident, however, denied starting the violence, with Abbie taking to Twitter say: “We were literally singing ‘chelsea chelsea chelsea’, the Lille fans came to attack us.
“Lille police came swinging their fucking truncheons and hit me on the back. Luckily I was shot by someone (if it was you, thank you very much). I didn’t care. realized only on the second throw.”
“It was tear gas and someone shouted it was tear gas. I covered my eyes and covered my fan inside, I didn’t stop and I didn’t still haven’t stopped crying.
“I’m definitely going to have a massive bruise, chest pains, I’ve never done anything wrong in my life and neither have any of us and yet we’ve been attacked, that’s not the case.”
Ugly incident at a bar in Lille where French police used tear gas and batons in the area where Chelsea fans were drinking. A few discarded bottles. Chelsea fans said the police were very clumsy.
—Tom Parmenter (@TomSkyNews) March 16, 2022
What really happened in Lille tonight; A Frenchman in the Chelsea pub who kicked off was semi-dealt with, as the lad was thrown out French police arrived steaming in with riot shields, smoke and guns tear gas was fired in several areas. Bottles thrown at the police. Tear gas sprayed on the faces.
— Craig CFC⭐️⭐️ (@craigcfc25) March 16, 2022
The Blues entered the match with a 2-0 lead from the first leg, after Kai Havertz and Christian Pulisic both scored in the first leg.
Much has changed in the world and at the club since that first game in February, and there remain more questions about the Blues than answers.
With fans unable to purchase matches and only season ticket holders able to attend matches, it is possible that their next Champions League matches will be played behind closed doors.
According to Athletic, that is what is likely to happen, due to EU sanctions against owner Roman Abramovich, independent of those in the UK.