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Fights and arrests. What happened to French football?


Paris. It’s dark and cold outside – December has come. Less than two hours are left before the PSG vs. Nice match.

PSG fans gather not far from the home stadium, whiling away the time until they begin to let in. They pulled their masks down to their chins and drink beer or smoke while discussing the upcoming fight.

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At the entrance of the Porte de Saint-Cloud metro station, vendors offer the last remaining tickets for the game, while the voice of the steward is loudly heard in the background, directing the fans to the stadium. Three police officers watch the crowd from the sidelines.

The road passing by the southwest corner of the arena has been blocked for 700 fans of the visiting team. They can’t come here, and the stewards politely but persistently return PSG fans back. Despite the fact that the police gathered a lot, the atmosphere remains relaxed.

“It’s Nice, so that’s okay,” explains the female steward. Whether it was the arrival of Marseille or a big team from the Champions League, there would be tension in the air.

Despite the apparent calm, no one wants to take risks. 350 policemen attended the match; 240 of them belong to the Republican Security Squad, and it’s best not to joke with them. Around 1,300 stewards help ensure safety. About 81 of them are watching the guests’ fans. 11 came from Nice.

In the light of the floodlights, a giant net, stretching from the first tier to the very roof, sparkles – it is here to protect Nice from especially aggressive fans who are always ready to throw something on the field. The Parc des Princes has 300 ultra-sensitive security cameras that transmit images to a giant wall of 32 televisions, where they keep order.

Now in France everyone is ready for anything. After a series of unrest, it cannot be otherwise, and every match is expected to have a new headache. Attacks on footballers, running out onto the field, bloody fights between fans and cancellations of games – everything that could have happened has already happened.

While the government is sounding the alarm and pointing out the crisis in football, a special group of dignitaries came together to find a way out of the situation.

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