After the incidents of last week between Nice and Cologne which left 32 injured, the authorities are on the alert around the Champions League match which is being played this Tuesday in Marseille. The authorities, who fear clashes between supporters of each team, have decided to strengthen the security system in place.
It’s the start of a high-risk week for football. Marseille receives Frankfurt in the Champions League on Tuesday evening. The authorities fear clashes with the 3,300 German supporters who came to watch the match at the Vélodrome stadium. Last season, fringes of Frankfurt supporters were pointed out on several occasions in this sense, on the sidelines of meetings against West Ham or Glasgow Rangers. The city of Marseille, for its part, had experienced several episodes of hooliganism during the European course of Olympique de Marseille (OM). The arrival of supporters of PAOK Salonika or Feyenoord Rotterdam gave rise to clashes with Marseille groups.
The reinforced safety device
A prefectural decree provides for the ban on wandering the German public and the sale of alcohol to take away, but the concern remains. “This match must remain a party,” said OM co-captain Matéo Guendouzi. “There are families, there are children, there are people who come from far away to see this kind of magnificent match. I hope there will be no overflow that we have seen recently in Nice. It must be a party for everyone”, he continues.
Traders ready to close in disaster
But last season’s “hooligan tour” left bad memories. Incidents, in the stands or in town with Greek, Turkish or Dutch supporters. Traders are scalded, as in the old port of Marseille where the chairs on Akim’s terrace at the “Le fifteen” brasserie have been stolen on several occasions: “We, each time there are supporters traveling, We’re in the front row. So there, we’re on the alert. We work in fear. From 2 p.m. I’m going to serve everything in cups to anticipate. And if it goes away, we go home in disaster, we pull the curtain and we go back”, he laments.
“A match that smells of powder”
Same feeling of exasperation on the side of the police. “It’s a match that smells of powder. We are particularly worried. We will try to cope, with all the means we have. There are nine Republican security companies, which is unheard of in Marseille. But you realize for a football match what it can cost … It’s incredible”, sighs at the microphone of Europe 1 Rudy Manna, departmental secretary of the Alliance police union. The national division of hooliganism effectively places this OM-Frankfurt meeting at maximum risk.