ENGLAND - RUSSIA

English hooligan enters into cardiac arrest as violence flares in Marseille

Violence involving English ultra fans errupted once again in the hours leading up to England's Euro 2016 opener against Russia in Marseille.

Hundreds of anti-riot police were deployed to intervene as more pitched battles between rival supporters took place in the port area of Marseille just a few hours before England's Euro 2016 opening game against Russia.

Bouches-du-Rhône Chief of Police Laurent Núñez explained that at around 6pm local time, six hooligans were arrested and five were taken to hospital for treatment, one of which in a serious condition after suffering a cardiac arrest.

In declarations to French TV channel BFM TV, Núñez said that police forces had intervened to separate groups of radical fans who had been involved in a violent confrontation which lasted almost two hours, and which involved around 200-300 on each side.

When asked whether security procedures already in place were satisfactory in the wake of extreme levels of violence witnessed over the past few days, the police chief replied that riot control measures "were sufficient for the time being".

Núñez added that various scuffles had broken out at various different points in the city centre, and that police officers had responded "systematically" with charges and the use of tear gas.

Following the battle, police retook control of the old port zone in Marseille, where there were numerous injured troublemakers with head and leg wounds.

Still visible on the ground, were bottles, tables and chairs from café terraces and used as weapons - the evidence of the battles between violent radical fans.

More than 30 police vans are still parked on the outskirts of the port area in anticipation of further skirmishes breaking out in the run-up or after tonight's game between England and Russia at the Stade Vélodrome which gets underway at 9pm local time and is considered a high risk by authorities.