PARIS (AFP) - Paris's police chief urged women on Wednesday (July 18) to report any cases of sexual assault during the celebrations of France's World Cup win, after dozens of accounts by victims were posted on social media in recent days.
"These cases must be brought to our attention so that investigations can be carried out," Prefect Michel Delpuech said on Europe 1 radio.
"Our services will obviously pursue any aggressors without fail if they are identified," he said.
Reports of forced kisses and groping began emerging after France won the final against Croatia on Sunday night, as hundreds of thousands of fans poured into the streets of Paris and other cities.
Others recounted sexual assaults during the team's victory parade down the Champs Elysees avenue on Monday, eventually using the hashtag #MeTooFoot, a nod to the Me Too movement that sprang up in the wake of rape and assault claims against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein.
"For me it was during the third goal... when I felt a hand slide up under my skirt," a Twitter user named Isa posted Monday.
Other victims posted that they had not filed charges, saying they did not believe the police would pursue their cases since their aggressors quickly fled into the crowd.
France's Equality Minister Marlene Schiappa also urged victims to come forward on Tuesday, saying on Twitter that "A man forcibly kisses a woman during the World Cup parties, that's sexual assault that is punished by the law."