Why French Algerians’ football celebrations turned into a battle

As the French nation prepared for the crucial World Cup qualifying match against Ireland on Wednesday evening, the streets of Paris were already in carnival mood long before the kick-off in the Stade de France. From 8.30pm onwards, throughout the city football fans waved flags, blocked traffic, hooted horns and sang songs of celebration. The party atmosphere clearly bemused newly arrived tourists and Irish fans on their way to the match. Most confusingly, with their green, white and red flags and football songs in Arabic, these supporters were obviously not French. They were in fact Algerians – several thousand of them – who were celebrating a 1-0 victory nearly 3,000 miles away in Khartoum

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