C1 – Incidents in Nice, anticipated clashes, major security measures: Marseille under close surveillance

A scene of chaos even before kick-off. Last Thursday, the Allianz Riviera, OGC Nice’s usual football stadium, turned into a theater of horror as the Aiglons prepared to host Cologne in the Europa League Conference, with a record of 18 injured, including a past close to irreparable. Less than a week later, it is to be feared that new overflows will tarnish the Champions League match of Olympique de Marseille against Eintracht Frankfurt on Tuesday.

“I invite the supporters to make it a celebration of football, to be an example of support from the fans, because it will not only be followed everywhere in France but also followed throughout the world.said Olympique de Marseille coach Igor Tudor at a press conference on Monday. So the fans really have to succeed in supporting the club and showing that they are good supporters, that there is no problem. But I’m sure everything will be fine. I hope it will be a great holiday for all the families and for everyone.”

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Violent incidents broke out between Nice and Cologne supporters on Thursday at the Allianz Riviera

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However, between French and German supporters, the links are already far too degraded not to fear a new evening of dread. For their second C1 match this season, the Marseillais should welcome more than 3,300 Frankfurt fans, according to official club figures. An already substantial number but that the Bouches du Rhône prefecture has already raised to 5,000 by counting those who should be near the Nice stadium.

Prefectural decrees

In theory, such a mass of people cannot come together. Faced with the fear of new clashes, the prefecture has published three orders to this effect and will base itself on a “reinforced security device“. The first text purely and simply prohibits the presence of “anyone claiming to be a supporter of Eintracht Frankfurt” around the Velodrome stadium. Then, the holders of tickets for the meeting will be accompanied to the Place de la Joliette in order to be grouped together and taken by coach directly to the visitor parking lot.

In addition, no procession will be able to parade through the streets of Marseille. The take-out sale of alcohol will be prohibited on Tuesday from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th arrondissements of Marseille. Finally, the prefecture prohibits any German supporter from parking and driving on public roads in these same districts between Tuesday September 12 at 12 p.m. and Wednesday September 13 at 2 a.m.

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The prefecture claims to have “well learned the lessons of previous matches (where scattered clashes took place, editor’s note) and mobilized substantial additional forces”argued to AFP a source familiar with the matter.

Within the stadium itself, 1,200 people will be dedicated to organization and security, plus a deployment of law enforcement personnel estimated at 500 or 600 men, as well as professionals used to act against hooliganism. If such a device has been thought of, it is partly because the meeting is placed under a high degree of danger. The National Division for the Fight against Hooliganism would have also classified it at level 5 (out of 5) on its security risk scale, according to information from RMC Sport.

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History for each of the two teams

If clashes are to be feared, it is also because the two clubs have already been confronted with violence on the sidelines of their matches. Already last April, OM hosted PAOK Salonika at the Stade Vélodrome for a C4 match. The city had then suffered the passage of Greek supporters as well as acts of violence on the part of Marseillais. Several had been arrested, in particular for violence against a person holding public authority and an attempt to introduce smoke bombs or throw a projectile at a bus.

Inside the stadium, the lawn had disappeared under the fog left by the smoke bombs. Then, during the game, seats were stolen in parallel with crowd movements and verbal and physical clashes between supporters of the two clubs. “It’s a shame for football and your city of Marseille”, had then estimated the coach of PAOK Salonika, Razvan Lucescu.

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As for Frankfurt, the supporters of the German club stood out during a Europa League meeting last season. On the move to Seville, tens of thousands made the trip and the Andalusian city then experienced clashes between German and Scottish fans on the sidelines of the C3 final against Glasgow Rangers.

Faced with the threat that lurks, the Marseille authorities have decided to set up their system on Monday, anticipating potential German arrivals the day before the Champions League match, or even overnight.. “We are not at peace, a source within OM told AFP. We want to do everything to prevent things from going wrong.”A new shadow hangs over the Old Port and its mythical lair, the Vélodrome.

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