Culture-Enriching World Cup Riots in France

As mentioned in last night’s news feed, after France defeated Morocco in the World Cup semifinals, a 14-year-old Moroccan boy was run over by a car and killed in the French city of Montpellier. At the moment the unfortunate incident occurred, the driver appeared to be fleeing from what he thought were dangerous rioters.

Many thanks to Gary Fouse for translating this article from the Montpellier daily Midi Libre:

14-year-old adolescent dead after France-Morocco match in Montpellier: Circumstances, victim… what we know

December 15, 2022

The tragedy, which played out in La Paillade, caused considerable emotion Wednesday evening after the France-Morocco match. The victim is the son of a family of merchants well known in the district.

A 14-year-old adolescent was fatally struck by a driver Wednesday evening in Montpellier after the France-Morocco match and the qualification of France for the 2022 World Cup final.

The tragedy reportedly occurred around 10:30pm in the heart of the La Paillade district. On several videos circulating on social media, one can see a white Citroen C4 car with a black roof stopped in a traffic jam. A blue-white-red [French] flag is hanging from the driver’s side rear window.

A group of about fifteen persons walking along the line of cars arrives at the vehicle. One of them tears the flag away. The vehicle immediately begins to make a half turn-around and hits the adolescent who remains on the ground. In cardiac-respiratory arrest, he is treated by emergency responders and transferred to CHU [University Hospital] where he dies later in the evening.

“The police investigation is proceeding rapidly”

The victim is a young resident of Montpellier of Moroccan origin, first name Aymen, son of a family of merchants well known in La Paillade. He was educated at a secondary school in the quarter, where his death has caused considerable emotion.

The driver’s car was found abandoned a few hundred meters from the scene and “seized”, the prefect of L’Herault, Hugues Moutouh announced in a statement. He noted that “the police investigation is progressing rapidly under the direction of the prosecutor’s office.”

Video surveillance cameras and eyewitness statements collected at the scene by police have reportedly led to the identification of the car’s owner. He had been recognized by people in the neighborhood, who went looking for him shortly after the tragedy.

The investigation is being led by the Urban Departmental Security. The police are particularly interested in a person who was injured after the tragedy. A man confronted by the crowd and who had to be hospitalized. “He is not necessarily the right person,” one close to the case cautions.

The mayor of Montpellier was reportedly to visit the family and relatives of the deceased in the late morning.

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