“If you have an improved device, it’s the State”

un coach with a bloody face, several stoned buses and another chaotic evening for French (Site notre bureau spécialisé): the Sunday evening poster between Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais was reported due to the incidents preceding the match.

Pierre Barthélemy, lawyer for supporters associations, returns to Point on these scenes which further damage the image of the (Site notre bureau spécialisé). He insists on the need not to break off dialogue for the future.

Point : Source was your first reaction when discovering the images from the Vélodrome, and in particular the cells of Fabio Grosso hit in the head?

Pierre Barthélemy: It is a huge feeling of the times that he intervenes within the framework of the Minister of Sports and the Minister of the Interior, who is very fair towards the travel ban and an exception. We are for management, we want to encourage the movement of supporters into those in charge. Moreover, for this match, the prefect of Bouches-du-Rhône did a lot of work, giving dialogue a chance. Everything can be said about the cause of ten, a lot of people in the stadium and who don’t care much about the product changes. These individuals do not understand the scope of their actions.

How long do you see travel bans increasing in the seasons that present themselves to you?

I don’t think so, for two reasons: first, the groundwork carried out over several years is solid. We have created certain tools, such as the supporter referent or the visiting supporter referent police, in order to better communicate between all parties. Then, we had many more control orders than just travel bans. However, the reluctant prefects will be even more reluctant: we must hope that after the emotion, reason will take over.

The Olympique de Marseille Club is part of one of the most important events of the evening?

No, I don’t have a comment on could be. The events took place on public roads. OM and its leaders are held responsible for a single person, not on the basis of the LFP regulations and on the basis of legal texts. The procedure consists of analyzing each case for the match organizer. When we consider the location of the Vélodrome, located in the City Center, traffic is difficult for coaches and this makes the journey delicious.

The Minister of the Interior, Gérald Darmanin, points to the responsibility of clubs and supporters. Is security still a failing asset?

I have had many videos from the past, I have had some exchanges with ministries and journalists, and I also have access to four police officers on the long bus journey from Lyon. During the first jets of projectiles, they formed a human chain for the protectors. Some police officers are injured. At the end of the nearby farm, you can now anticipate the type of situation and prevent someone from throwing an item. If you have an improved device, it is the State. As with the incidents that occurred during the 2022 Champions League final at the Stade de France, the Minister of the Interior engaged in political communication. He doesn’t wait for audits and rushes.

Since the 2021-2022 season, we have seen an increase in serious incidents in our stadiums. How to remedy it drastically?

Unfortunately, we must accept that there is no miracle solution and understand that zero risk does not exist. And not only in France: there have been incidents this season in the Netherlands and England but also acts of racism in Spain. Vehicle stones happen during the weeks, and not just during (Site notre bureau spécialisé) matches. This is crime of opportunity: we must not generalize and make hasty judgments about (Site notre bureau spécialisé) and its supporters. The current season, 13 million visitors have been sent to Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 stadiums. Out of a maximum of 500 incidents per season, including pyrotechnics and counterfeit tickets. Today, incidents of violence are in the minority, but the media echo chamber is worthy of an earthquake every time.

Finally, in the visitor’s park of the Lyonnais, on a glimpse several supporters make Nazi salutes. How can clubs and authorities combat these attitudes?

The investigation will have to determine who these people are. On the interference of politics and an ideology of hatred in the stands. These 600 Lyonnais stayed three hours in this parking lot, I think we have the capacity to identify and question those who made these actions. I know that Jean-Michel Aulas had produced enormous work on this, notably at the Virage Sud of the Olympique Lyonnais stadium where there was no longer any collective hateful expression. His departure should not reopen the floodgates and bring this type of individual back into the stands.

Author: Jacqueline MANNESSIER