Olympique de Marseille visits the Parc des Princes on October 27 for the latest installment of Le Classique but they will be without their traveling supporters who have been banned via prefectural decree according to Le Parisien.
This isn’t the first time Marseille supporters have been denied access to Paris Saint-Germain’s stadium. Last season, ahead of their Ligue 1 match on March 17, 2019, the Paris police released a statement per Le Parisien that said they feared Marseille supporters would make fun of the PSG Ultras following the team’s embarrassing loss to Manchester United in the UEFA Champions League. The even cited exchanges on social media between the groups of supporters as evidence that things would get out of hand.
Things did get out of control the last time OM fans were in attendance at the Parc des Princes. The match on February 28, 2018, ended with a 3-0 win for PSG in the Coupe de France but after the match, the destruction of the Marseille fans was revealed per Le Parisien. Toilets and chairs in the stadium were destroyed and some of their actions were captured on camera and shared on social media:
— France tv sport (@francetvsport) February 28, 2018
It’s a difficult situation French football finds themselves in. On one hand, you want the opposing team’s fans in attendance for a big match to create a raucous atmosphere. On the other, you can’t have a stadium vandalized and the potential of violence between supporters before, during, and after the match. Some PSG fans weren’t thrilled with the decision to ban the OM supporters:
One of the things I hate about French football (LFP). This ridiculous decision takes so much away from the spectacle. Grow a pair, police it properly and there’s a good chance everyone can watch the game and get home safely. https://t.co/ZD5WBXOb50
— Lee Davey (@leedavey99) October 15, 2019
You have to think with more police surveillance that both sets of fans can watch the match together without any serious incidents occurring. For instance, PSG will be travel to Club Brugge for their UEFA Champions League match next week and only fans who go through the club to purchase tickets, provide ID, and ride a bus provided by the club will be allowed in the stadium. Instead of banning Marseille’s traveling supporters, French football should work with PSG and Marseille to come up with the safest solution possible so the match can have the type of atmosphere it deserves.
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