A YOUTUBE video that appears to show several young French football fans in Bourges, Cher, setting an Algerian flag on fire has sparked outrage on social media.
The film, in which the “fans” set fire to the Algerian flag while waving the French tricolore and singing La Marseillaise, was shot by a witness shortly after France beat Nigeria to book their place in the World Cup quarter finals, and before Algeria lost to Germany in their last 16 clash, last Wednesday, June 30.
At the end of the video, they throw the remains of the flag into a fountain.
The incident took place amid fears that violence that blighted several cities in France when Algeria qualified for the knockout phase of the World Cup for the first time would be repeated.
Earlier that day, the mayor of Nice banned the “ostentatious” waving of foreign flags until the competition in Brazil comes to an end later this month.
And 25,000 police were on duty across France that night to ensure that trouble was not repeated.
By this morning, the video had received more than 60,000 views, and many of the comments criticised those taking part.
France 3 reports that the prosecutor in Bourges has asked the police to open an investigation into the incident.
France will play Germany in the World Cup quarter final at the Estádio Maracanã in Brazil’s capital Rio de Janiero tomorrow night.
Photo: Youtube screengrab