23 Feb Marseille and St Etienne fans banned from travelling to this weekend’s games
There will be no away supporters at either of this Sunday’s two high-profile rivalry clashes in Ligue 1 after Marseille and St Etienne fans were banned from travelling.
OM face league leaders Paris St Germain in ‘Le Classique’ and before that, ASSE make the short trip to fierce rivals Lyon looking to avenge their 5-0 defeat earlier in the season.
That match was marred by crowd trouble at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard, including a pitch invasion after Lyon’s Nabil Fekir celebrated a goal by taking his shirt off and displaying it to the home fans. St Etienne suffered a partial stadium closure for two games as a result.
France’s interior minister Gerard Collomb, in a statement publised by the French government on legifrance.gouv.fr, made reference to several instances of crowd trouble involving both clubs separately before addressing their rivalry.
Collomb wrote: “Relations between the supporters (of both teams) have developed into a fierce rivalry which manifests in violent behaviour which poses a threat to public order.
“Forces of order must always be mobilised against the threat of terrorism which troubles the whole country and cannot be distracted from this priority to respond to trouble linked to the behaviour of supporters at sporting fixtures.”
Listing several areas in and around Lyon, he wrote: “On Sunday February 25, from midnight to midnight, the individual or collective presence of any person who is a supporter of AS Saint-Etienne or behaves as such is forbidden (in these areas).”
There has also been trouble on several occasions at games between PSG and Marseille in recent years and the Paris police prefecture has banned access to the Parc des Princes on Sunday to “persons who are supporters of Olympique de Marseille or who behave as such”.
There have now been 10 Ligue 1 matches this season subject to banning orders for visiting fans.