Image taken amid violence during 2016 Euro Cup finals linked to protests in France

By: Uzma Afreen
July 5 2023

Share Article: facebook logo twitter logo linkedin logo
Image taken amid violence during 2016 Euro Cup finals linked to protests in France


The Verdict False

The image was taken when football fans and the police clashed during the final match between France and Portugal.

Claim ID 020c9251


An image (archive here and here) showing people walking past a garbage fire and some waste in front of the iconic Eiffel Tower in Paris is going viral on social media with the claim that the picture was taken during the recent riots in France. Posts sharing the photo insinuate that it shows the destruction caused by the civil unrest triggered by the killing of a 17-year-old boy by the police last week. Several unrelated and old visuals, including the viral photo, have been shared online in light of the protests, which started in Parisian suburbs and soon spread to multiple cities nationwide.

In Fact

On running a reverse image search, we found the same image in a report published by HuffPost on July 10, 2016. Headlined "French Police Fire Tear Gas Near Euro Cup Final Fan Zone In Paris," the report gives details about clashes that erupted between police and football fans who tried to break into a closed-off viewing area of the Euro Cup 2016 final between France and Portugal. The image's caption read, "Garbage fires and tear gas surrounded the area near the fan zone." 

The image was also published on July 11, 2016, in a report by the British tabloid Mirror. The report headline read, "Euro 2016 final marred by fan violence in Paris city center as hooligans riot under Eiffel Tower." Both HuffPost and Mirror had attributed the picture to Stephane Mahe from Reuters. We have reached out to Mahe for confirmation and will update the story if and when we receive a response.

According to a report published by Reuters, thousands of people had gathered near the foot of the Eiffel Tower in Paris on July 10, 2016, to watch the finale on giant outdoor screens. When the zone was closed to new entrants after reaching its maximum capacity, some people tried to break into the area. This quickly snowballed into violent protests and clashes between the fans and the police. "French police fired tear gas to disperse dozens of people trying to enter the "fan zone" at the foot of the Eiffel Tower to watch the final of the Euro 2016 soccer tournament on Sunday evening to prevent overcrowding," Reuters reported.

A France 24 report from the same day also stated that around 40 people were arrested "after police used tear gas and a water cannon against football fans hurling glass bottles at officers at the Eiffel Tower."

The Verdict

The image shared in the viral post is from July 2016, when clashes broke out between football fans and the police during the Euro Cup finals. It has no connection with the recent protests in France. 


Would you like to submit a claim to fact-check or contact our editorial team?

Global Fact-Checks Completed

We rely on information to make meaningful decisions that affect our lives, but the nature of the internet means that misinformation reaches more people faster than ever before