A 14-year-old boy has been run over and killed in the southern French city of Montpellier shortly after France’s World Cup semi-final victory over Morocco.
Authorities said he was struck by a car after the match and then died in hospital.
Images on social media showed a car draped in a French tricolour surrounded by people who then grabbed the flag.
The driver then appeared to panic, accelerating into two teenagers.
As he turned his car around and sped off, the 14-year-old was hit and went into cardiac arrest.
“Immense sadness that a sporting event should end in total tragedy,” said local MP Nathalie Oziol, who expressed her sympathy with the boy’s family.
The local prefect in the southern Hérault area said the car was later found abandoned not far from the scene of the accident, and police have begun searching for the driver.
#FRAMAR d’un côté les supporters marocains de l’autre les supporters français. Tirs de mortiers à plein régime pic.twitter.com/H3HI4xJFP5— Midi Libre Montpellier (@MLMontpellier) December 14, 2022
Mayor Michaël Delafosse said everyone was appalled and in shock at “this terrible tragedy”, and wished that perpetrators of “this cowardly act” be brought to justice.
Local MP Patrick Vignal said the driver had to be caught and severely punished.
The incident happened in Montpellier’s north-western district of La Paillade, around half-an-hour after the final whistle in Qatar, where France beat Morocco 2-0.
Tensions between France and Morocco supporters briefly spilled over in the centre of the city as flares were lit and police responded with tear gas. France has a large Moroccan community of some 1.5 million people.
Celebrations in cities across France were largely peaceful, although police used tear gas to halt trouble involving far-right youths in the centre of Lyon.
Ten thousand police were deployed across the country and a reported 167 arrests were reported nationally.
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