Boy, 14, killed in France as World Cup win over Morocco triggers riots

French victory marred by trouble in several cities, with child 'violently' run over in Montpellier

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A boy has died after being “violently” run over in the French city of Montpellier after France's World Cup semi-final match against Morocco in Qatar.

Clashes broke out across the country, including in the capital Paris, after France's 2-0 victory.

The 14-year-old was pronounced dead shortly after being admitted to a hospital in Montpellier, the Herault administration said.

"A young boy was violently hit on Wednesday night by a reckless driver," official Hugues Moutouh said. "My thoughts go out to his family and loved ones."

Local politicians confirmed his age and said the boy was killed in the city's Paillade neighbourhood.

"We are all shocked," said the mayor of Montpellier, Michael Delafosse, who called for those responsible for the "despicable act" to be found and put on trial.

French media said the boy was hit by a car after someone tried to steal a French flag from the driver, which led to the car swerving in the direction of the crowd.

Clashes erupt after France v Morocco World Cup semi-final

Clashes erupt after France v Morocco World Cup semi-final

Police are searching for the driver, who abandoned his vehicle close to the scene.

French President Emmanuel Macron, who praised the French and Moroccan teams after the match, is yet to comment.

France has a large population of citizens of Moroccan descent, as well as other former colonies in North Africa.

Tajmaat, a French-language online collective for North Africans, said it received numerous reports of North Africans being attacked in several French cities.

“The movements were co-ordinated and aimed to attack” them on sight, it said on Twitter.

About 10,000 extra police officers had been deployed across France to “ensure the match remains a party”, interior minister Gerald Darmanin said on Tuesday.

More than 100 people were arrested in Paris after the match, almost 50 of whom were associated with the ultra-right, police sources said.

People brandishing "illegal weapons" were arrested at a cafe in the 17th district and intended to "fight it out on the Champs-Elysees".

A leader of Zouaves Paris, an ultra-right group banned in January for beating anti-racist activists at a rally, was reportedly among those arrested.

The group was dissolved after its members attacked people at a rally for far-right presidential candidate Eric Zemmour last December.

Riot police were stationed along the Champs-Elysees hours before the match.

Football fans were directed away from the avenue, disappointing some who had travelled into the city centre to celebrate at the landmark.

Plainclothes and uniformed police officers surrounded the area to "fight against all forms of delinquency", police said earlier.

In the southern cities of Marseille and Avignon, riot police were deployed and public transport halted in the city centre ahead of the game.

Updated: December 15, 2022, 1:46 PM