RMC SPORT INFO – Scenes to forget. After the ultra-violent season in the stands of the French championship, Ligue 1 started again with the hope of a quiet one. The previous season was chaotic, between throwing projectiles or invading the field, the LFP released their panel of disciplinary sanctions to prevent the situation. No success. RMC Sport has revealed the League’s plan to try to end violence in French stadiums.
“We must remove the criminals from the stadiums”, the sentence of Vincent Labrune, president of the LFP, at the end of June during the General Assembly of the French Federation (FFF) marked the spirits. The will of the League is shown: to regain control of the security of the championship. On the side of the clubs, we also want to reduce tensions with the supporters. At the beginning of June, the LFP has started an inquiry with the appointment of the criminologist Alain Bauer, who is responsible for a report on the excessive supporters who put the season in Ligue 1. The conclusions are expected in September. Before the publication of this document, the clubs and the League tried to take the lead.
A protocol for dangerous matches
According to our information, the LFP implemented what was decided in the interministerial meeting about violence in stadiums in December 2021. This meeting of the three ministries (Interior, Sports and Justice) led to many reforms and lines of thinking for the future . For example, clubs must have anti-projection (safety nets) and anti-intrusion (grids, Plexiglas, barriers, pit) security devices that can be removed and activated upon recommendation of the prefect or the National Division for the Fight against Hooliganism .(DNLH).
In fact, for this new season, the security protocol has been strengthened. The body has asked clubs to add to their existing security measures, especially for matches deemed high risk. The League also asked the 40 members of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 to add anti-intrusion barriers and protective nets for these meetings. The League left the choice of the clubs: a cage, a modular net, several representatives, accordion barrier system or with ropes “Wembley system”, plexiglass protection in the corners.
In terms of details, there is no mandatory in every league match. For example, a Ligue 1 club is not obliged to install a net permanently. On the other hand, the devices should be activated in a minute if needed. Or if the game is classified as dangerous, the prefects can ask to activate the device and the club must be ready.
Referred police officers and the top of the bottles
Clubs also need to make up for years of underinvestment in security. At the start of the year, no Ligue 2 club, for example, had protective nets. In the last few days, the nets have been installed in the stands, in most cases in the guest sector of the championship. “We must not believe, but the clubs invest a lot in the security of the stadiums, without even the order of the LFP”, confessed a president of Ligue 1. fans on social media. The LFP also included in its regulations a ban on plastic bottles in stadiums. They can be used as projectiles, just like last season. The millions of euros injected by the CVC investment fund into the French championship should also allow clubs to invest in these infrastructures.
According to our information, many other new features will also see the light of day. At the beginning of July, during the LFP seminar with the security managers of the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 teams in Toulouse, the clubs analyzed all possible scenarios with crisis meeting simulations (projectile throwing, land invasion…). Since the end of June, about ten clubs in the championship will have to deal with a referent police officer (such as Paris or Saint-Etienne), an idea launched in 2019 by several French clubs . He is an official who contacts the stakeholders of a game, who manages the dialogue. It should also make it possible to reduce tensions and facilitate decision-making. Finally, a track, which requires political intervention, is studied by the LFP. The creation of special agents. These private security personnel, specially trained to intervene in championship stadiums, may have accreditation from the League. The purpose is simple: to have competent staff with full knowledge of the enclosure.
An unbelievable pre-season
“The scenes in Nice or Rennes during the pre-season friendly matches do not allow you to have a sense of security before the start of the season, trusts a police officer specialized in intelligence. , they will definitely set the tone for this new era in France”. Last season, a match was stopped on the first day between Montpellier and Marseille after a projectile was thrown by an OM player.
The last friendly games between Ligue 1 clubs and some foreign clubs still gave rise to the fear of the worst. In recent days, clashes have taken place between several groups of supporters. During a friendly match between OGC Nice and Torino, a dozen ultras from the Italian club were arrested on the sidelines of the meeting by the police. The latter wanted to attack OGCN supporters in front of the Allianz Riviera. English Aston Villa fans were attacked by Rennes supporters after a friendly match between the Breton club and Aston Villa. Result: two injured.
Are supporters back at the center of the game?
This is not yet a victory for the supporters, just a step. At the start of the season, the authorities, the clubs and the LFP seem less closed to talk to groups of supporters. It remains to be seen whether France will again exceed the 150 travel bans in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 this season. Supporter representatives want to get a reduction in the collective sanctions imposed by the LFP disciplinary committee.
“We have regular exchanges with the LFP during the summer, believes Kilian Valentin, spokesman for the National Association of Supporters. We will continue these exchanges in the coming weeks. But the League is focused on this season with desire to make people forget the images of the past. There are still many files to discuss, things are progressing in the discussion. So far, we have not received feedback from the groups of supporters of the nets and cages placed in stadiums, but this will be a topic to discuss.
Bauer’s report was written
As of writing these lines, the DLNH note has not yet been published. He always set the tone for the season. The writing of the report requested by the LFP from Alain Bauer is still ongoing. Conclusions are expected at the end of September, currently interviews with various players in the championship are ongoing. For Kilian Valentin, spokesperson of ANS, the person “is not suitable” to write this report.
According to our information, the criminologist seeks solutions adapted to local problems. The report must provide solutions in the presence of pre-agreements between the LFP, clubs and local authorities before publication. This report should also highlight the points of agreement and the points of difference between the various parties.