Issued on • Modified
Hollande meets French team after Euro 2016 disappointment
France's football-mad President François Hollande seemed ready to forgive the national team their defeat by Portugal in the Euro 2016 final - he was to meet them at the Elysée presidential palace at 1.00pm on Monday. The Eiffel Tower was closed Monday after violence before the match but, once the disappointment had registered, the nation took the result on the chin.
Organisers had prepared an open-top bus for the French team to tour the streets of Paris if they won, video taken by a member of the public showed, although police had earlier announced that there would be no triumphal drive down the Champs Elysées avenue because of preparations for the Bastille Day parade.
Those preparations proved to be unnecessary but les Bleus were still to visit the Elysées, where the president would presumably accentuate the positive and thank them for getting as far as the final, no mean feat in itself.
Hollande on Monday hailed the organisation of the tournament as a "victory for France".
Teargas at the Eiffel Tower
About 40 people were arrested in Paris as the match was being played after police fired teargas and watercannon at fans who hurled bottles at them outside the fanzone at the Eiffel Tower.
The clashes were with fans locked out because the zone was jammed to its 90,000 capacity, a fact that the police had posted on Twitter and announced in the metro.
Motorbikes and at least one car were reported to have been set on fire.
There were also arrests for public order offences outside the Stade de France , where the match took place.
Nine people were taken into custody in the central city of Lyon for violent behaviour, insulting police officer or possession of fireworks and one officer was slightly injured by a spray can.
French side inconsolable
In an interview on Sunday, Hollande had hoped that a victory would heal the wounds of last year's terror attacks and this year's industrial and political conflict.
That was not to be and sports daily l'Equipe reported that les Bleus were "inconsolable" but fans and players were ready to pay tribute to Portugal for its last-minute 1-0 victory.
To read our coverage of the Euro 2016 click here