Shocking moment Socceroos fans SPRAY on French supporters and steal their flag in a packed fan zone as a wild brawl erupts after the Aussies were thrashed 4-1 in the World Cup opener
- World Cup celebrations descended into chaos at Melbourne’s Federation Square
- Socceroos fans clashed with French supporters, punches and bottles being thrown
- Police have not made any arrests, but will investigate any complaints
- The mood elsewhere was much more subdued after Socceroos went down 4-1
A public display of the World Cup has turned violent in Melbourne as Socceroo supporters turned on a small group of French fans who celebrated their victory by throwing punches, spitting and throwing bottles and cans.
Thousands gathered in Federation Square on Wednesday morning for the opening of the Socceroos tournament against defending champions France in Qatar.
There were initial scenes of jubilation as the Socceroos came forward with a six-minute goal from Craig Goodwin – before France took the lead back at half-time and extended to 4–1 at the end of the game.
Tensions escalated shortly after the game ended at 8am, when shocking footage and photos emerged from the live viewing site of French fans forced to run for cover while being pelted with cans and water bottles.
Violence erupted between the Socceroos and French fans at Melbourne’s Federation Square after Australia’s 4–1 defeat
Australian fans threw water bottles at French supporters as the large crowd watched
Several scuffles also broke out in the crowd amid reports that a French flag had been snatched and stolen from Les Bleus supporters.
Footage also emerged of flares being ignited and thrown during the match.
Tensions eased soon after as the crowd dispersed with no arrests made.
“Police have not yet received any complaints but will investigate all reports made to them in relation to the event,” a Victoria Police spokeswoman told Daily Mail Australia.
“We are calling on anyone who has not yet spoken to the police to come forward.
There is no place for violent or anti-social behavior in the community and we support the vast majority of sports fans celebrating this exciting time in the right spirit.”
Hundreds of fans also gathered in nearby Melbourne CBD pubs without incident.
Footage emerged of Socceroos supporters snatching flags from French fans as they watched the game in Federation Square
World Cup celebrations turned ugly as Socceroos supporters clashed with French fans. Police have not made any arrests at this stage
There were sombre and much more subdued scenes elsewhere in Australia after the 4-1 defeat.
Fans drowned their sorrows in dozens of bars and clubs across Sydney, including the iconic Cheers Bar, Strawberry Hill Hotel, Dee Why RSL and Coogee Bay Hotel.
It was an early start for Western Australian fans who had to set their alarms for kick-off at 3am.
Fans return to Federation Square on Saturday night for the Socceroos’ win against Tunisia and next Thursday at 2am for the final group game against Denmark.
The mood among Socceroos fans was much more subdued in Sydney, pictured supporters drowning their sorrows in Cheers Bar
Socceroos fans hope for a better result against Tunisia on Saturday evening. Pictured, subdued fans at Sydney’s Cheers Bar on Wednesday morning
This French fan watching the game in Sydney celebrates a goal from the defending champion