Police in France prepare for high-stakes World Cup match with Morocco

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Police in France geared up for the country’s World Cup soccer semi-final against Morocco on Wednesday, after scuffles which followed last week’s Moroccan quarter-final win over Portugal.

Some 10,000 police officers will be mobilised nationwide, of which 5,000 personnel will be posted in the Ile-de-France region around Paris and some 2,200 in the capital, double the security staff than for earlier key World Cup matches, Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin said on France 2 television.

“Our Moroccan friends, just like the French supporters, are welcome to organise a party and our job is not to stop them from partying … but this will have to be done under good security conditions,” Darmanin said.

Clashes had erupted in Paris on Dec. 10 after Morocco defeated Portugal as victory celebrations with waving flags and honking soon turned into violence on the streets as rioters thrashed storefronts, forcing the riot police to use teargas.

France is a former colonial ruler of Morocco and has a large Moroccan diaspora, concentrated mainly around Paris and the Mediterranean coast area.

While ethnicity figures do not exist in France, estimates put the number of Franco-Moroccans and Moroccans living in France at about 1 million.

via Reuters

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