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French police swoop on Croatian supporters ahead of PSG, Zagreb match

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2012-11-06

French police raided a Paris hotel on Tuesday, detaining up to 100 supporters of Croatian side Dinamo Zagreb ahead of the team's Champions League tie with Paris St-Germain. The arrests followed violent clashes between the two sets of fans on Monday.

Police arrested around 100 Dinamo Zagreb fans at a Paris hotel on Tuesday just hours before the Croatian side were due to meet PSG in their Champions League Group A tie.

The raid on the hotel came the morning after rival supporters from the two clubs clashed on the streets of the French capital.

One Croatian supporter was left seriously injured and 24 fans were arrested as violence erupted around the iconic Place de la Bastille on the eve of Tuesday’s crucial Group A clash. Calm was restored shortly before midnight.
 
Questions will be asked how the confrontation was allowed to occur even after France’s interior minister issued a banning order barring Zagreb’s “Ultras” from travelling to the match.
PSG fans clash with rival supporters of Dinamo Zagreb
 
Manuel Valls took the move because of the “high risk” of violence if the two sets of supporters, both of which have a reputation for hooliganism, came into contact with each other.
 
Valls was informed by Croatian authorities that 150 to 200 violent supporters from a gang called the "Blue Bad Boys" would be travelling without tickets for the match.
 
The trouble will only heighten the tension around Tuesday evening’s match at the Parc des Princes, which will surrounded by tight security.
 
PSG hope to bounce back
 
After losing their first league match at the weekend to St Etienne Carlo, Ancelotti’s PSG side will be hoping to bounce back against Zagreb.
 
PSG beat the Croats 2-0 in Zagreb two weeks ago and will be looking for a repeat against a team without a single goal in the competition and still struggling for confidence.
 
Ancelotti is sweating on the fitness of central midfielder Blaise Matuidi, who took a heavy knock to his thigh on Saturday. Midfielder Clement Chantome and striker Kevin Gameiro are ruled out through injury, but 12-goal top scorer Zlatan Ibrahimovic will lead the attack against a team that conceded 22 times in last season’s group stage – a record for the competition.
 
“After (Lionel) Messi, Ibrahimovic is sure to be the best striker in Europe,” said Dinamo defender Domagoj Vida, who will have the task of marking the imposing Swede. “He knows everything, including elbow kicks when referees are not watching.”
 
On Saturday, Ibrahimovic, who is a Taekwondo expert, was sent off for a martial arts-style kick to the chest of Saint-Etienne goalkeeper Stephane Ruffier as he challenged for a long ball.
 
Without their talismanic forward on the field, the rest of the team struggled against Saint-Etienne, underlining suggestions PSG are overly-reliant on Ibrahimovic.
 
Dynamo, meanwhile, beat Tavria Simferopol 2-0 in the Ukrainian league on Saturday. But the fans are unhappy at being 14 points behind league leader Shakhtar Donetsk, and two points behind second place Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk.
 
“I’d like to ask for the fans’ support; that’s very important for us. It’s embarrassing to read what fans say on Internet forums, although they’re supposed to be our supporters,” striker Andriy Yarmolenko said.
 
“I only want to say that a real fan supports a team through the good and bad times. There are also troubling times and this is when we need fan support in the stands.”
 
(FRANCE 24 with wires)

 

Date created : 2012-11-06

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