Fans light flares after France won the FIFA World Cup semifinal 2022 against Morocco on the Champs Elysees in Paris, France on Wednesday. Photo by Christophe Petit Tesson/EPA-EFE
Dec. 15 (UPI) — A 14-year-old boy died after being hit by a vehicle in Montpellier, France, shortly after the national soccer team scored a 2-0 victory over Morocco in the semifinals of the World Cup on Wednesday.
Montpellier, which has a large Moroccan population, saw tensions between soccer fans of the two countries spill out into the streets of the city’s northwestern district of La Paillade.
Witnesses said the driver had taken off at high speed after what appeared to be soccer fans tried to take the French flag flying from his car window and hit two teenagers.
The boy was taken to a local hospital after the accident and died at the medical facility. Authorities located the vehicle involved in the accident but the driver remained at large.
World Cup-related violence led to arrests and incidents throughout France, including Marseille, Avignon, Annecy, Grenoble, Lyon, Nice, Bordeaux and Paris. Authorities said, though, that most post-game celebrations in the country were peaceful.
Paris police arrested 145 people during celebrations and scuffles on the Champs-Elysees. Five police officers suffered minor injuries, mostly from fireworks, authorities said. About 10,000 police fanned across France in hopes to keep violence in check.