Sports

Marseille revoke PSG shirt ban for CL final

Marseille, Aug 21 (Agencies) | Publish Date: 8/21/2020 10:14:32 AM IST

A ban on Paris Saint-Germain football shirts in Marseille’s city centre has been revoked just hours after it was imposed to avert clashes between rival fans during Sunday’s Champions League final.

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.

Marseille’s police prefecture on Thursday had announced a ban on “the presence of PSG supporters or people presenting themselves as such and behaving as such” around the historic Old Port — only to revoke it the next morning.

The ban was supposed to 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.

Justifying its initial ban, 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 aborted order followed 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.

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