Supt Nigel Doddard, who is leading the PSNI’s operations in France, said his French counterparts confirmed it was an accident. The man is understood to be in his 20s.
“I believe it was an accident – not in any way disorderly related, obviously a personal tragedy. This was in the early hours, on his own, quite possibly had a bit of drink taken. He had fallen from the promenade on to rock beach,” he said.
The man fell about eight metres, according to a French police spokesman. “It seems it was drink. He was walking and went over the barrier.Because he was drinking he crossed the barrier and fell eight metres,” he said.
The police spokesman said the accident happened at about 2am on Monday, after the match between Northern Ireland and Poland.
He said the man’s name had not yet been released.
Nice’s four-mile Promenade des Anglais is famed as a landmark of the city. Below it lies a rocky pebble beach. It is a popular walking and cycling route and was thronged with supporters returning from the match on Sunday night.
Many of the fans had congregated around the area of the Place Massena in the old part of the city.
Northern Ireland’s first minister, Arlene Foster, who attended the match on Sunday, expressed her condolences to the family of the man who died.
“The whole atmosphere was one of great excitement, great joy – all the Northern Ireland fans and Polish fans were having a tremendous experience, a tremendous time together,” Foster said in a statement on Monday. “So it is tremendously sad news to hear this morning that a young fan has lost his life.
“I do, of course, want to express my deepest sympathy to the family back home in Northern Ireland. It is news that will come to them as a terrible shock. A young man going out there to have the trip of a lifetime and to be told that this has happened; it just is really shocking.”
Northern Ireland player Gareth McAuley tweeted:
Midfielder Steven Davis tweeted:
Northern Ireland lost 1-0 to Poland in their first match of the tournament.
This article was written by Henry McDonald, for theguardian.com on Monday 13th June 2016 09.03 Europe/Londonguardian.co.uk © Guardian News and Media Limited 2010