after Nice-Cologne, European week at risk in the stadiums

Stadiums under surveillance in France: overtaken by the violence during Nice-Cologne, French football approaches the European posters of the week between caution and « reinforced device »fearing new clashes during Marseille-Frankfurt on Tuesday, Rennes-Fenerbahçe and Monaco-Ferencvaros on Thursday.

After a 2021-2022 season disrupted by repeated outbursts of supporters, culminating in the organizational fiasco of the Champions League final at the Stade de France at the end of May, France fears to plunge again.

The scenes of chaos observed at the Allianz-Riviera in Nice during the reception of Cologne (1-1) in the Europa League Conference on Thursday brought back very bad memories: fights between supporters inside the stadium, also involving former Parisian ultras, throwing of smoke bombs, damage in the city center… These incidents left 32 injured.

Hence the concern at the idea of ​​​​welcoming foreign supporters again in the Champions League and the Europa League, in particular those of Eintracht Frankfurt, traveling to Marseille on Tuesday (9:00 p.m.).

“It looks just as complicated” at the Vélodrome, notes for AFP Ronan Evain, general manager of the Football Supporters Europe network, who deplores the lack of anticipation of the authorities and clubs in preparing for these risky trips, as in Nice last Thursday. « It’s not about clearing people who have decided to cross the red line. The problem is that we have infrastructures and a security culture that are failing and only increase this risk- the »he asserts.

For Marseille-Frankfurt, the police prefecture says for its part to plan a « reinforced security device ». She has « learned well from previous matches and mobilized substantial additional forces »argues a source familiar with the matter.

The security device is 1,200 people on the OM side, plus a deployment of law enforcement elements estimated at 500 or 600 men. About forty German stewards will also be present. According to the authorities, Eintracht expects the arrival of 3,300 supporters holding tickets and up to 5,000 other people without titles.

FC Cologne and Nice supporters fight before the Europa Conference League soccer match at the Allianz Riviera in Nice on September 8, 2022.   (NICOLAS TUCAT / AFP)

A decree prohibits Frankfurt supporters displaying themselves as such from parking or driving near the Velodrome on Tuesday, « with the exception of those transported in coaches and buses escorted by the internal security forces ». The sale of alcoholic beverages to take away will also be prohibited from 2 p.m. Tuesday in the downtown boroughs.

And to avoid friction between supporters inside the Vélodrome, OM plans to create a kind of buffer zone around the parking lot. « We are not quiet, argues a source within OM. We want to do everything to prevent things from going wrong. »

Frankfurt supporters were talked about in May in Seville, during the Europa League final won against Glasgow Rangers, with a nighttime fight between ultras from the two clubs. Eintracht has also been under the threat of a disciplinary closed session since the invasion of the field following the C3 semi-final against West Ham. On the Marseille side, the last two European matches at the Vélodrome had also been marked by incidents.

In Rennes, where the fiery Turkish fans of Fenerbahçe are expected on Thursday (9 p.m.), and in Monaco, where the Hungarian supporters of Ferencvaros, some of whom are linked to the hooligan movement, will travel the same day (6:45 p.m.), vigilance will also be required. bet.

To limit the uncontrolled influx of opposing supporters, Stade Rennes has decided to limit the sale of tickets to its subscribers and to the 1,395 visitor parking spaces, reducing the capacity of its stadium from 30,000 to 19,000 places. In Monaco, 800 Hungarians are expected, including 600 in the car park, and sales restrictions have been applied.

As for the people of Nice, on a trip Thursday (9:00 p.m.) to Belgrade to face Partizan in the Europa League Conference, they are moving in an atmosphere that promises to be hot, despite the partial closure of the Serbian stadium for disciplinary reasons. In September 2009, a young French supporter, Brice Taton, died at the age of 28 after falling down the stairs during a violent attack on the sidelines of a European match in Toulouse against Partizan.

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