PSG fans riot at prize-giving

Football supporters in running battles with police beside Eiffel Tower as cafes and shops ransacked

13 May 2013

FOOTBALL club Paris Saint-Germain have been told they will never again be allowed to hold public celebrations after rioting broke out at the ceremony to mark their first French title win in 19 years.

Trouble started at the Trocadero, in the shadow of the Eiffel Tower, just after Ligue 1 president Frédéric Thiriez presented the Hexagoal trophy to PSG captain Thiago Silva.

There was barely time to pass the trophy to Zlatan Ibrahimovic, David Beckham and the other players – and no time for speeches - before they were all hustled off the stage as fighting broke out among the 10,000 fans who had waited more than an hour for the team to arrive.

Fans started throwing crush barriers, flares, smoke-bombs, rocks and bottles and soon the 800 police in the square were replying with tear gas grenades and managed to force the fans to descend towards the Seine. Other groups of fans had scattered towards the Champs-Elysées.

The Trocadero was not cleared until two hours later, at 21.00, but fans were still battling CRS riot police on the bridge under the Eiffel Tower attacked.

A tourist bus was attacked and luggage stolen before fans went on a wrecking spree, setting a car alight and damaging other vehicles. They also smashed windows and ransacked several cafes and shops, including a supermarket, with violence also breaking out on the Champs-Elysées.

Bernard Boucault, the préfet de police de Paris, said afterwards that 30 people were injured, including three police, and 21 people arrested. He added: “There won't be more any more events like this in a public place for Paris Saint-Germain.”

Interior Minister Manuel Valls also cancelled an official celebration at the Hôtel de Ville tonight.

Later, PSG issued a statement lamenting that the celebrations had been “spoiled by a few hundred trouble-makers” as the club was trying “to build a huge European club, worthy of the capital”. It said it would hold a presentation ceremony at its next home game, against Brest on Saturday.


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