French football does not want to relive “a catastrophic season”

These images are still remembered. In this month of August 2021, having just come out of the long months behind closed doors or partial filling gauges imposed in the stadiums due to Covid-19, the French football championship has just resumed. But, from the third day of Ligue 1, violence broke out. The first of a long series.

On August 22, in Nice, Olympique de Marseille (OM) player Dimitri Payet collapsed after being hit by a bottle thrown behind his back by a Nice “fan” and, following scuffles between supporters and players, the match is interrupted. Three months later, on November 21, the same player was again the target of a bottle thrown on the lawn of Olympique Lyonnais, an attack which also led to the stoppage of the match.

Read Dimitri Payet’s column: Article reserved for our subscribers Dimitri Payet: “Should I stop taking corners? Should I stop playing football? Tell me ”

Faced with this repetition of violence in the stadiums, the government convened, on November 23, then on December 16, the representatives of football – Professional Football League (LFP) and French Federation (FFF) – and announced a series of measures. Do not ban the sale and carrying of plastic bottles.

This provision should be implemented “no later than 1uh July 2022”, the clubs having ” the possibility ” were even invited to “implement this ban as soon as possible”. They did it. Rather late. And now, since 1uh July, the LFP included in its regulations the pure and simple ban of these plastic bottles, but also of glass bottles, cans or water bottles with caps, judged “capable of being used as projectiles”. Drinks sold by stadium refreshments must now be served in reusable or cardboard cups.

“Criminals in our enclosures”

This decision, which will apply from the first day of Ligue 1 – it begins on Friday August 5 -, is part of a new security policy wanted by Vincent Labrune, the president of the LFP, wishing not to have to relive this year “a catastrophic season on and off the pitch”.

“There are criminals in our compounds. We have to get them out of the stadiums”he had declared during the general assembly of the FFF, on June 18, before adding: “I don’t want to know of a death in a stadium as president. We want to be the development league, not the war league in the stadiums. »

Read also (2021): Article reserved for our subscribers Government cracks down on incidents at football stadiums

On the club side, the news was received unevenly. “Since the resumption of the championship last season, we no longer distribute bottles to the general public as a preventive measure, we confide for example to OM. Looking ahead, we are working on further improvements to remove all plastic. »

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