HomeEuropa Conference LeagueFan violence mars Marseille-Feyenoord clash

Fan violence mars Marseille-Feyenoord clash

Soccer Football – Europa Conference League – Semi Final – Second Leg – Olympique de Marseille v Feyenoord – Orange Velodrome, Marseille, France – May 5, 2022 Fans with flares in the stands inside the stadium before the match REUTERS/Stephane Mahe

MARSEILLE, France (Reuters) – French police intervened to halt violent clashes between fans of Olympique Marseille and Feyenoord ahead of the second leg of the Europa Conference League semi-final at the Stade Velodrome on Thursday.

Iron bars were used in brutal assaults and vehicles vandalised, local media reported, with police battling to keep the situation under control and using teargas to disperse the fans.

The situation had calmed down by the time the match kicked off at 8pm (1900 GMT).

Feyenoord coach Arne Slot told reporters his team’s bus had been hit by a brick on the way to the stadium, a journey that was prolonged as police battled to steer the Dutch team through the crowds of fans.

It was the latest in a string of incidents involving unruly supporters in French football this season. Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu suggested the future of the professional game in the country was at risk after the Ligue 1 game between Olympique Lyonnais and Marseille was abandoned in November due to violence.

St Etienne were forced to play behind closed doors this month due to fan misbehaviour.

(Reporting by Nick Said, editing by Ed Osmond)