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Belgian border towns fear French fans might spoil football fun

  • 10 July 2018
  • Author: QT01
  • Number of views: 717
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Belgian border towns fear French fans might spoil football fun
As France and Belgium prepare to fight it out for a place in the World Cup final, some towns along their shared border are worried that the evening may not be altogether neighbourly.
The Belgian border town of Comines-Warneton has cancelled the public screenings it arranged for previous matches - "for security reasons," an official told dpa.
"At Comines, near the border, it's not so easy to mix French and Belgian supporters at the same time," local police chief Sebastian Dauchy told newspaper L'Avenir.
"You can't turn people wearing a blue jersey away at the entry and let the ones in red jerseys go through," Dauchy added.
That, though, is exactly what the nearby Belgian town of Mouscron is prepared to do.
Its outdoor screening of the semi-final will be "black-yellow-red only," local authorities say, referring to the colours of the Belgian flag.
Mouscron's town hall suggests that, "if you wish to support our close neighbours," screenings are available in the cities of Lille and Roubaix on the other side of the border.
And the neighbouring towns of Wervik in Belgium and Wervicq-Sud in France will close the bridge between them to traffic on Tuesday evening, regional newspaper La Voix du Nord reported.
The decision was taken after "idiotic provocations" by some French supporters last week, Wervicq-Sud mayor Jean-Gabriel Jacob told the newspaper.
His counterpart on the Belgian side, Youro Casier, nevertheless reassured French fans that they would be welcome to come and watch the match - as long as they arrived by bicycle or on foot.
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