Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra announced the consequences after the riots by spectators when French football record champions AS St. Etienne were relegated to the second division. In the case of risky games, measures to ensure public order would have to be increased in the future and higher requirements placed on the organizers, the minister told RTL in Paris on Monday. At the same time, however, the dialogue with the fan groups must be expanded, she emphasized.
Hundreds of spectators packed the pitch and set off fireworks immediately after the hosts lost on penalties in Sunday’s relegation game against AJ Auxerre. Numerous Bengalos flew partly into the crowd, partly also onto the spectator stands, which were still filled with fans. Video recordings of the scenes after the end of the game showed thick clouds of smoke over the stadium. The players of both teams hurriedly left the field to get to safety.
As the prefecture announced, there were a total of 33 injured in the riot. Two Auxerre players and 17 fans were injured, three of them were taken to hospital as a precaution. In addition, 14 law enforcement officers suffered minor injuries. After the square storm and the evacuation of the stadium, the clashes continued outside. The police used tear gas and water cannons against around 200 rioters. 250 police officers were on site.
Prefect Catherine Séguin strongly condemned the clashes. These came from a minority of people who called themselves fans, but who were simply criminals. AS St. Etienne also condemned the riots in a statement and announced legal action against those responsible. Although the number of folders had been increased to almost 500, the space stormed.