June 30, 2014 12:14 pm
Updated: June 30, 2014 4:32 pm

Take down flags or else — Could French World Cup ban happen here?

Mohamed Zemmamouche, left, and Essaid Belkalem of Algeria celebrate with a flag after a 1-1 draw during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group H match between Algeria and Russia.

Julian Finney/Getty Images

The French city of Nice has just banned the flying of all international flags through its streets between dinner time and 4 a.m. for the remainder of the World Cup.

The city’s deputy mayor told the Associated Press on Monday the ban stems from “intolerable behaviour that disrupts public tranquility.”

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The move appears aimed at curbing a rash of arrests among fans of Algeria, an African country many expats in the French coastal city hail from.

Following the team’s draw with Russia last week – an outcome that saw Algeria advance to today’s knockout match versus Germany (4 p.m. ET) – there were 74 arrests.


Could it happen here?

Such a ban isn’t likely to ever happen in a Canadian city, according to experts.

“I think it’s the political make-up of the country. We’re inherently melting pot-oriented,” says Cheri Bradish, an associate sports marketing professor at the Ted Rogers School of Management at Ryerson University.

Bradish is currently co-writing a white paper on fan behaviour in Canada, and specifically the most diverse city in the country, Toronto. The paper will be published following the end of the tournament.

READ MORE: Algeria makes history, advances to knockout stage

“It is such a wonderful thing we’re in a country where people are first- and second-generation that can express their stories,” she said, something the World Cup allows them to do.

“It’s representing your country and instills great pride and it’s a means to demonstrate that,” Bradish said.

Algeria is through to the World Cup knockout stage for the first time in the country’s history.

Nice officials don’t appear to hold any qualms with the flying of France’s flag, something many will likely do while the national side vies with Nigeria for a berth into the quarterfinals today as well.

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