- (PHOTO:REUTERS/Alex Gallardo)
Hundreds of fans of Paris St. Germain football team took to the streets in celebration of a victory that spiraled out of control into a riot on Monday night.
The team was partaking in a victory celebration around the Arc of Triumph on a double decker bus while fans hoisted the Paris St. Germain trophy when the fights broke out only minutes into the festivities.
800 police officers were dispatched to stop the raucous crowd with tear gas and batons as St. Germain star player David Beckham and the rest of his team looked on at all the fighting and vandalism.
The attacks, mostly carried out by "hooded youths," according to the Daily Mail, saw passers-by threatened, cars burnt up, and shops looted as the mayhem lasted several hours.
"The Champs Elysee is a battlefield," a photographer said of the scene told UPI. "'There are youths smashing shop windows and stealing everything they can. They are also attacking cars and motorbikes."
This was the team's first French football title victory in 19 years, and according to UPI, they are one of the richest soccer clubs in the world but unfortunately can't "shake off its hooligan following."
"It is a huge embarrassment to a club that has been trying to restore its image following years of fan violence," Bernard Boucault, Paris Police Commissioner, told TheUpComing: "The conclusion one can draw is that there won't be anymore events in public place for PSG."
The frustrated football team released a statement after the situation was calming down.
"The party was spoiled by a few hundred troublemakers who have nothing to do with football and even less with those that fill the Parc des Princes on match days with such passion and enthusiasm and in total security," the statement read. "All the members of the club, the players and the directors, express to all those loyal and passionate fans their heartfelt regret that today's trophy presentation ceremony had to be cut short."
Among the 30 injured were three police officers, and a total of 21 rioters were arrested.