Thousands of Eintracht Frankfurt supporters are expected in Marseille on Tuesday for the Champions League match between the two teams (9 p.m., on RMC Sport 1). Several measures were taken after the overflows in Nice, last Thursday, against Cologne in the Europa Conference League.
After Barcelona and Seville, will an army of white jerseys invade Marseille on Tuesday (9 p.m., on RMC Sport 1) for the Champions League match between OM and Frankfurt? According to official figures from Eintracht, 3,300 supporters will make the official trip to the parking lot. But they could be 5,000 without a ticket outside the Vélodrome, according to estimates from the Bouches du Rhône Prefecture. Because Frankfurt’s followers are numerous, loyal and ready to move en masse to the other end of Europe. Last season, they made an impression by settling massively in the Camp Nou in the quarter-final return (2-3) of the Europa League.
Things had degenerated in Seville
They were thus more than 30,000 in the enclosure of Barça, humiliated on the ground and in the stands. Very organized, the community of Eintracht supporters had thrown themselves on all the tickets put back on sale by Catalan subscribers absent for the meeting. They had again rallied by tens of thousands Sevilla a few weeks later for the final against Glasgow Rangers (victory, 1-1, 5 tab 4). If they had remained rather wise in Catalonia, things had degenerated in the streets of Andalusia with clashes with Scottish fans.
This antecedent and the recent violence committed by FC Cologne hooligans in Nice last Thursday in the Europa Conference League, have fueled fears of new outbursts in the Marseille city, which has already witnessed ultra-violent fights with supporters on the sidelines of the FIFA Cup. World 1998, then Euro 2016.
Three prefectural decrees were taken
Faced with these fears, several measures have been taken to avoid any new overflow in the security devices after the fiascos around the Champions League final, then Nice-Cologne, two years from the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Three prefectural orders have thus been issued. The presence of German supporters around the stadium will be prohibited. Those holding tickets will be taken from Place de la Joliette (where they will be gathered) by coach and directly to the visitor parking lot. The authorities also banned the setting up of a procession.
The take-out sale of alcohol was also prohibited from 2 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th arrondissements of Marseille on Tuesday September 13. The Bouches du Rhône prefecture has also prohibited any German supporter from parking and driving on the public roads of the 1st, 2nd, 6th and 7th arrondissements of Marseille between September 12 (this Monday) 12 p.m. and September 13 2 a.m. In the stadium, OM has chartered 1,200 people for organization and security. The police will be reinforced with 600 mobile forces, including specialists in hooliganism. So many ways to prevent potential clashes in the city (at the Old Port in particular) and in the stadium. On this last point, the club thinks it has avoided a massive purchase of tickets by German supporters in the Velodrome outside the parking lot.
The enthusiasm of the Marseillais for the Champions League, the many subscribers and the establishment of packs have reduced the risk. German fans seem to have noticed payment defaults on foreign and… German bank cards. If lone Frankfurt supporters are spotted in the stadium, they will then be taken to the visitors’ parking lot or to a more secure area near the same parking lot.
Moreover, and while the crowd should be 62,500 spectators at the Vélodrome, there are still a few thousand tickets for sale. OM plans to quickly close the ticket office in order to avoid buying tickets by German supporters. The Marseille club has precisely condemned 1,500 seats for security reasons and to avoid too much proximity between the German parking lot and the Marseille supporters.
A match placed high on the risk scale
The National Division for the Fight against Hooliganism only does so very rarely but, according to our information, for this OM-Frankfurt, it did not hesitate: this match is ranked 5 on a security risk scale of 5.
From the draw for the European Cup, she had ranked this match at 4. But after the violence in Nice against Cologne, she decided to raise it to the maximum level. Joined by RMC Sport, some police officers present in Nice and who will be in Marseille say they are “very worried”. Same content to the FFF which will feverishly observe the surroundings of the Velodrome. “We are very, very worried. I fear that we have underestimated the number of Germans who will go to Marseille”, confides a federal source.
Beyond the 3,300 Frankfurt supporters who have tickets, the authorities mentioned in their prefectural decree a maximum figure of 5,000 Eintracht supporters without tickets. However, this estimate is very difficult to confirm. The German club has let OM know in recent hours that we are heading more towards 2 to 3,000 fans who would make the trip without a place for the match.
The very important security system (600 members of the police, 1,200 people in charge of security) will begin to be put in place this Monday evening, because the authorities expect to see Germans arriving in Marseilles as soon as tonight or overnight. A new tense day is preparing.