In the last few minutes, the Associated Press have reported that the French Government have confirmed that they have banned the sale or consumption of alcohol near Euro 2016 venues. They have done so in an attempt to curb the fan violence that has blighted the first two days of the tournament.
— AFP News Agency (@AFP) June 12, 2016
It is not entirely clear as to what effect this will have. While alcohol obviously exacerbates any violent situation, many of the clashes thus far have been caused by local groups of organized ultras attacking visiting supporters. This was the cause of the clashes involving Northern Ireland and Poland fans last night, and organised Russian ultras were partly responsible for the violence between Russian and English fans.
— Charlene White (@CharleneWhite) June 11, 2016
The banning of alcohol around grounds will do little to stop organised thugs intent on causing violence. It is also a disappointment for the majority of well-behaved supporters. As a general rule, immediate and widespread prohibition rarely works.
If it helps ensure safety it is a good thing, but you have to assume that the French authorities are aware that they'll need to take many more steps.