Algeria’s narrow win over Ivory Coast in the African Cup of Nations quarter-finals Thursday sparked wild jubilation among Algerians in France, with shops looted in Central Paris and a woman killed in a high-speed car crash in southern France.
The woman was killed in the southern city of Montpellier as an Algerian football supporter celebrating his team’s win lost control of his car and ran over her and seriously injured her baby.
The 21-year-old man was driving at high speed, an official said. The driver was taken into police custody.
The woman was walking with her one-year-old baby and 17-year-old daughter when the accident happened.
The baby suffered traumatic injuries and was rushed to hospital. The 17-year-old had a slight ankle injury.
Algeria, one of the favourites in this year’s Africa Cup of Nations, defeated Ivory Coast 4-3 on penalties in the Egyptian city of Suez to set up a semi-final showdown with Nigeria on Sunday.
The mayor of Paris’ 17th district near where the violence took place, Geoffroy Boulard, said that it “appears there was a security problem yesterday night” and added he had been told measures would be reinforced for Sunday’s match.
Paris and Marseille are home to large minority communities of Algerian origin. Football celebrations, with supporters brandishing large national flags, have on occasion been a source of tensions.
The far-right National Rally party said in a statement the incidents marked a “rejection of France” and urged authorities to ban access to the Champs-Elysees for the Algeria-Nigeria match on Sunday evening.
Government on Friday slammed the riot as “unacceptable”.
Fans of the Algerian team flocked to the Champs-Elysees in central Paris and the Vieux Port area in Marseille after the match.
Two stores near the Champs-Elysees in Paris were looted, including a Ducati motorcycle shop where people took helmets, gloves and even bikes, an AFP journalist said.
Police used tear gas to disperse thousands of people who had gathered in Paris. The same measures were used to scatter crowds in Marseille.
“The damage and incidents last night on the sidelines of the celebrations… are unacceptable,” Interior Minister Christophe Castaner said in a tweet.
In total, 73 people were detained, the interior ministry said. Forty of the detentions came in Paris, where 10 minors were also detained.