Paris Saint-Germain supporters in Marseille will have to keep a low profile on potentially their club’s greatest night, with local police saying they will ban the club shirt in some areas during Sunday’s Champions League final in order to avoid clashes between rival fans.
PSG face Bayern Munich in Lisbon on Sunday evening, attempting to become only the second French winners after Olympique Marseille, who clinched the biggest prize in European club football in 1993.
The Bouches-du-Rhone police prefecture confirmed on Thursday that it intended to ban “the presence of PSG supporters or people presenting themselves as such and behaving as such” around the historic Old Port, where many bars broadcast football matches.
The ban will apply from 3pm local time on Sunday afternoon to 3am on Monday, with the evening match scheduled in between.
Tensions between fans of the two clubs are so strong that the French interior ministry regularly issues travel bans for away fans when the clubs meet.
The police said “there is strong animosity on the part of some Marseille residents, supporters or not, toward the PSG team, in contradiction with any sporting spirit”.
The order follows incidents during the broadcast of Tuesday evening’s Champions League semi-final, in which PSG beat RB Leipzig.
The police said gatherings of more than 250 people took place in Marseille and there were two assaults on people wearing PSG shirts, including “attempts to intimidate them in order to interrupt the broadcasting of the match”.
French authorities are also wary of possible unrest in Paris, where 36 people were arrested following Tuesday’s semi-final when jubilant fans clashed with police on the Champs-Élysées.
(FRANCE 24 with AFP)