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Fears of football violence spark temporary e-scooter removal in Lyon

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Fears of football violence spark temporary e-scooter removal in Lyon
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REUTERS/Fabrizio Bensch
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Electric scooter rental companies have been told by authorities in the French city of Lyon to remove the two-wheelers from large swathes of the city ahead of the Africa Cup of Nations final on Friday evening.

Algeria and Senegal will battle it out to be crowned African champions and authorities fear a repeat of last Sunday when football fans clashed with police in Lyon and Marseille during post-match celebrations following Algeria's victory over Nigeria in the semi-final.

The Lyon town hall told Euronews that the measure, which kicked in early on Friday and will expire on Saturday morning, was taken as a safety precaution to prevent accidents with other vehicles and pedestrians but also to avoid them being used as a projectile against the police or the opposing team's supporters.

Paris City Hall also asked scooter and bike companies to remove their vehicles from Champs-Élysées and Place de Gaulle before 7 p.m.

Respect public space

One such company operating in Lyon is Lime. A spokesperson told Euronews that it happily complied with the request to ensure public safety.

"It’s important for us to make sure riders and non-riders are safe and also that public space is being respected. Everything will go back to normal tomorrow," the spokesperson said.

Lime’s scooter rental app already displayed vast areas central Lyon in red on Friday afternoon — indicating riders are unable to park their scooters there.

The closure zone includes the historic Place Bellecour, where much of last week’s violence took place. In those clashes, scooters were thrown by fans and littered the roads as police vehicles tried to navigate through unruly crowds.

Fireworks and firecrackers

Traffic restriction measures have also be imposed by the prefecture to avoid a repeat of last Sunday when "violent individuals used this festive event to destroy public and private property, and to attack the police," it said in a statement.

It has also prohibited the consumption of alcohol in public places and banned the sale and possession of firecrackers, fireworks and "fuel in portable containers."