|Fans associated with right-wing supporter clubs clashed before and after the game [EPA]|
Sixteen fans of Ligue 1 club Paris Saint-Germain FC have received bans after violent clashes against rivals supporters before and after Sunday’s 3-0 home loss to Olympique Marseille.
A 38-year-old man, a member of the notorious Kop of Boulogne, a group named after a stand at PSG’s Parc des Princes stadium, sustained a serious head injury after being attacked by members of a rival group based in the Tribune d’Auteuil section of the stand, before Sunday’s game in Paris.
France president Nicolas Sarkozy strongly condemned the violence on Wednesday and the Paris prosecutor’s office said the banned fans will also have to show up at police stations during matches.
Another fan has been sentenced to a six-month suspended jail term for “aggravated violence.”
Government spokesman Luc Chatel said Sarkozy “has asked the government to be extremely responsive and very firm in the response to acts that are absolutely unacceptable.”
PSG announced on Tuesday it will not be making tickets available to its fans for away games until further notice and security measures will be increased for the team’s next league game at Lens on Saturday.
“Violence is at its height, we have reached a new level of urban guerrilla warfare,” PSG chairman Robin Leproux said in a statement on the club’s website.
“Until further notice, we shall not sell tickets to our supporters for our away games. It’s a far-reaching and distressing decision but I have to ensure the safety of all.”
The stand usually reserved for visiting fans at Lens’ stadium Felix Bollaert will be closed.
Marseille fans, who have a long history of clashes with their PSG counterparts, boycotted the game to protest against security measures imposed on visiting supporters.
But Marseille will travel to the Stade de France on March 27 for the League Cup final against Bordeaux, and there are now fears PSG hooligans will take advantage of this trip to square up with Marseille fans.
PSG’s long history of hooliganism peaked in November 2006 when a police officer shot and killed a member of the Boulogne Boys faction to protect an Israeli supporter under attack after a Uefa Cup match against Hapoel Tel Aviv.
Struggling PSG are 12th in the standings after a run of poor results has left them with 33 points from 26 games.