The party turned into a fight and football took a back seat on Thursday 9 September in Nice. On the occasion of the resumption of the European season and the Europa League conference, OGC Nice received the German club of Cologne. But the meeting was mostly overshadowed by scenes of violence between the supporters of the two fields, in the stands. This new incident surrounding a sports match raises many questions as the investigative process will begin to shed light on the events surrounding this match.
An hour before kick-off, scheduled for 6.45pm, several hundred Cologne fans invaded the presidential stand of the Allianz Riviera to face their Nice counterparts, placed in the opposite stand. The prefecture of the Maritime Alps has assured AFP that “it was the Germans who chargedLong minutes of fighting followed, during which seats and iron bars from the stadium were torn off for use as weapons. The police then managed to control the situation, while the gates of the stadium were closed at the same time.
– Matthias Galante (@Matthiasgalante) September 8, 2022
Earlier in the day, several deteriorations had been noted in the streets of Nice after the arrival of Cologne supporters. The trams were tagged, the streets littered with rubbish, the window of the official shop of the Nice club was ransacked and the memorial to the victims of the 14 July 2016 attack was damaged by stickers with the effigy of the German club the town hall of Nice reported. “We will send invoices for the damage and cleaning of public spaces to the club in Cologne“The mayor of the city, Christian Estrosi reacted.
These acts of great violence were not without consequences. 30 fans were injured, although it is difficult to establish the full balance as the first scuffles took place before the entrance to the stadium. One of the injured fans is hospitalized in “absolute emergency” after falling five meters from the edge of a grandstand, and according to the prefecture is suffering from “head and chest trauma”. Nine police officers were injured Franceinfo learned Friday morning from a police source.
PSG fans among those of Cologne
The hooligan in absolute emergency has made a good impression in the ranks of the visiting fans. But he was not an ultra of the Cologne club. As confirmed on Friday morning by the prefect of the Maritime Alps, Bernard Gonzales, in France Bleu Azur, the seriously injured is a Paris Saint-Germain fan. The Parisian ultras of “Supras Auteuil”, a group officially dissolved in 2010 as the Parisian club recalled on Friday in a press release, have close ties to those of the German formation, Wilde’s Horde. A banner was thus deployed on the visitors’ stand at kick-off by these PSG fans. As Eurosport recalls, in 2016 a “25 Years of Ultra Mentality” cheer was deployed during a German Cup match by Wilde’s Horde, on the anniversary of the creation of the “Supras Auteuil”.
– France Bleu Azur (@francebleuazur) September 9, 2022
A classified game at risk
The meeting had been jeopardized and was subject to special measures. The prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes made it clear to France Bleu Azur on Friday morning that the arrival of the German fans had been supervised. “We had separated them, with one arrival in Cannes, the others in Nice“explains Bernard Gonzales. The prefect also criticizes the attitude of the Cologne club, which did not” respect the framework that was set “before the match”.Their managers did not use all these means and they wanted to do a ‘fan walk’, the march of the fans, which we had refused during the preparatory meetings.“Once at the stadium, the visitor parking was forced, and it was enough for the” 200-300 “thugs, according to the count of the prefecture (out of the 7,800 German fans who had made the trip), to climb over a wall to access the gallery. presidential.
There was no arrest on Thursday evening “,but investigations will be carried out with in particular a video analysis workNice prosecutor Xavier Bonhomme told AFP on Friday.
The meeting took place again
The kick-off of the match was postponed by an hour, at 19:40, after a meeting between representatives of UEFA, the club, the prefecture and the security forces. The tension then subsided as Nice’s captains, Dante, and Colon, Jonas Hector, urged their supporters to remain calm. The match was subsequently played smoothly, ending in a 1-1 draw. “We weren’t sure we were playing, but I think we had to play this game, The trainer of the gym, Lucien Favre, explained this in a press conference. I was in favor of the game. We were happy to play that game for the simple reason that there is no possible date after.“
– beIN SPORTS (@beinsports_FR) September 9, 2022
Which two clubs are at risk?
The range of sanctions is wide and will depend on the conclusions of the investigation carried out by UEFA, the organizer of the Europa League conference.
A ban on the movement of German fans is currently the most likely option if the allegations of the prefecture of the Alpes-Maritimes are confirmed. You can also pronounce a full or partial closed session. Some of his ultras have already been involved in incidents in the past, such as on the sidelines of a match against neighboring Borussia Mönchengladbach in February 2015. The atmosphere at the Rhein-Energie-Stadion is nevertheless familiar and is recognized as one of the warmest in Germany.
OGC Nice for its part could be concerned if it turns out that there are deficiencies in the security system around the match. On 22 August 2021 the match between Aiglons and Olympique de Marseille could not be completed due to incidents with local fans. Dimitri Payet had been the victim of bullets. The Nice club then suffered three games behind closed doors and two penalty points, one of which was disqualified.