Europe

Euro 2016: Irish football fans awarded Medal of City of Paris

Thousands of Northern Ireland fans travelled to France to follow their side's whirlwind tournament Image copyright Press Eye
Image caption Thousands of Northern Ireland fans travelled to France to follow their side's whirlwind tournament

Northern Ireland and Republic of Ireland fans will receive an award from the mayor of Paris for their "exemplary sportsmanship" during Euro 2016.

Anne Hidalgo said they will be given the Medal of the City of Paris.

The medal, known as the Grand Vermeil, is regarded as Paris' most prestigious honour and has been awarded to a variety of cultural and political figures.

Image copyright PA
Image caption The Irish fans were praised for the atmosphere they helped to create in France

Both teams reached the knockout stages but exited Euro 2016 last weekend.

"They participated in the festive atmosphere that has been prevailing in Paris these last two weeks," said Jean-Fran├žois Martins, deputy mayor for sport and tourism.

"They are a model for all the supporters of the world.

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mayor Anne Hidalgo said the Irish fans were "exemplary in their sportsmanship" during Euro 2016

"As shown in the numerous videos that circulate on the social networks, the Parisians particularly appreciated meeting them, speaking with them and sharing those joyful moments that are essential in such a great sportive event."

Ms Hidalgo has written to First Minister Arlene Foster and Irish President Michael D Higgins to inform them of the award, but it is not yet known when the ceremony will take place.

Northern Ireland lost 1-0 to Wales on Saturday while the Republic of Ireland were beaten 2-1 by France on Sunday.

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