Marine Le Pen has said that riotous celebrations in France of Algeria's triumph in a World Cup match are proof of failing immigration policies
Clashes between police and football fans across France after Algeria's win over Russia in a World Cup match are proof that the country's immigration policy has failed, Marine Le Pen has claimed – as she called for a ban on French citizens holding double nationality.
"This is the demonstration of the total failure of immigration policy in our country, of the refusal to assimilate by a certain number of binationals," said Miss Le Pen, the leader of the far-Right anti-immigrant Front National.
"They must choose: they are Algerian or French, Moroccan or French, they can't be both," she told iTele news channel.
Tens of thousands of Algeria fans took to the streets of cities across France on Thursday night to celebrate their team's historic qualification for the knockout stages of the World Cup.
The celebrations were largely peaceful but were marred by serious incidents in several cities.Riot police fired tear gas at youths on the Champs Elysees in Paris, and there were similar clashes in Marseille and Lyon, where dozens of cars were set alight.
Police made 74 arrests and three officers were injured in the disturbances, which came after trouble had flared following Algeria's win over South Korea the previous Sunday.
Police were preparing to deploy for Algeria's match against Germany in the last 16 on Monday night, hours after France take on Nigeria.
Several million people of north African origin live in France, with many holding double nationality.
Ms Le Pen, whose Front National beat the mainstream to come first in European polls last month, noted in her television interview on Sunday that 800,000 Algerians in France had registered to vote in the former French colony's presidential election in April.
"There is no country in the world that would put up with what we are subjected to on our territory," she said. "The state must act, it must end double nationality, it must stop immigration."
Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, the French sports minister, said the far-Right leader was wrongly lumping together legitimate football fans and thugs.
She said many of the fans who took to the streets to celebrate Algeria's victory would also cheer for France in its World Cup matches.
Miss Le Pen’s father Jean-Marie, who founded the party, famously said in 2006 that it was wrong to have too many “players of colour” in the French team.
And he also claimed that it was “artificial to have foreign players come and play in France and call them the French team.”
“Most French players don’t even know, or don’t want to sing, the Marseillaise,” he said in 1996.