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France decrees against ‘hooligan’ football associations

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2010-04-29

The French government has “dissolved” seven official football supporters’ associations believed to have hooligan links. Five of these are rival "firms" who support the same team: Paris Saint-Germain.

Seven football supporters’ associations linked to acts of hooliganism in France’s Ligue 1 have been dissolved by government decree.

This unprecedented move affects five clubs associated with Paris Saint-Germain (PSG), a club notorious for violence meted out by numerous rival “firms” - who all support the same team – against each other.

The ban also applies to one firm from OGC Nice and another from Olympique Lyonais.

The official decrees, signed by Prime Minister Francois Fillon and Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux, were published in the official journal of the National Assembly on Thursday.

The government intervention comes after a PSG supporter died after weeks in a coma following a savage beating from members of a rival PSG firm on February 28, during a game against archrivals Marseille.

Football for families

“These decrees will rid our stadiums of associations made up of so-called football supporters whose behaviour is totally unacceptable,” Hortefeux said. “We want these people out of the game, allowing genuine fans to feel comfortable coming to matches with their families in a calm and friendly atmosphere.”

As well as banning the seven supporters’ associations, some 650 individual fans have already been barred from attending matches.

Further legal measures to combat hooliganism will be examined by the French Senate in June.

These could include an anti-hooligan curfew, a travel ban for known offenders, forcing banned supporters to be present at a local police station during matches, and extending the length of bans.

Supporters’ associations are notoriously powerful in French football clubs. Their behaviour can often influence clubs’ decision-making, including the signing of new players and the management of the team and the facilities.

Date created : 2010-04-29

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