It was a night marked by new incidents in the football stadium experienced by OGC Nice against Cologne in the Europa League Conference on Thursday night. Thanks to the cameras of RMC Sport, broadcaster of the match, we were able to trace the string of events to try to understand the failures.
RMC Sport consulted all the cameras installed yesterday in Nice to try to understand the circumstances of the incidents inside the sports enclosure. Cologne supporters were more than 8,000 in the Ray stand. Nice has reserved this part to ensure better security and to avoid individuals in other stands of the stadium.
One element is evident when looking at the pictures: the ease for Cologne supporters to reach the Popular South stand from the Ray stand via Segurane (lateral VIP area). No filter, just a dozen security guards and a low wall. In a press release published this Friday, the Nice Eco Stadium (NES), the operator of the stadium, confirmed that it had received “no written or oral request from the club seeking to change the sector of the stands”. According to our information, the Prefecture of the organizer recommended a strengthening of the divisions for this meeting.
On the side of the “Garibaldi” stand, the situation is different. Cologne supporters were stopped at the windows that usually make up the visitors’ parking lot. There is no contact between the two parties in this area, only throwing projectiles. For the incidents inside the sports enclosure, the images may seem long but all the events take place in less than thirty minutes.
Another element, after looking at these pictures, we can see that the intervention of the police in the end is very fast. The police do not control the security inside the sports arena. It intervenes when the situation is beyond the control of private security forces. Police in DNLH tracksuits intervened first, even before the arrival of supporters in Nice, but only slightly in front of a hundred supporters in Cologne. There were less than 10 minutes between the first movement of the crowds of supporters in Cologne and the intervention of the first CRS in law enforcement uniforms (some intervene before but with less resources). The meeting is ranked 3 out of 5 by DNLH.
According to RMC Sport police sources, negotiations were “difficult” to bring CRS inside the enclosure. Judging by the pictures, the “fight” sequence between the two parties did not last more than four minutes. An important element to look at these pictures, the stewards, like during the events at the Stade de France in May, seem overwhelmed and in insufficient numbers in front of the attackers.
Inadequate number of stewards, the paths between the stands are easily accessible. The Allianz Riviera especially saw some supporters of Cologne (between 100 and 150 about the pictures) with a clear desire to want to contact the people of Nice. The Germans clearly launched the battles with the available images, some supporters of Nice responded. Some images are very violent.
The events thread:
5:35 pm: The Cologne team arrived at the Allianz Riviera under police escort. A minute later, it was OGC Nice’s turn.
5:41 pm: The players of both teams can identify the pitch.
5:52 pm : “A lot of atmosphere, they are used to moving numbers in Germany”, confirmed Lucien Favre on the microphone of RMC Sport on the edge of the pitch. The 8,000 Cologne supporters are already in their “parking lot.”
5:54 pm: OGC Nice goalkeepers warming up, very few Nice supporters in the stands.
5:55 in the afternoon: Cologne’s goalkeepers come out to warm up under the encouragement of 8,000 supporters in the stands.
5:59 pm: First movement of Cologne supporters from the Ray stand to the Segurane stand (presidential stand). Members of the organization began to stir the ground. The “Popular South” stand is not yet full, there are few supporters of OGCN.
6:00 p.m : The first DNLH policemen, in tracksuits, wipe out the jets of projectiles from Cologne fans. One of the policemen was hit by a smoke bomb.
6:01 in the evening: The appearance of the first “supporters” of Cologne at the level of the second ring near the Nice boxes. Smoke bomb in hand, around twenty people can easily reach the turn of “Populaire Sud”. Small disturbance at the level of Nice fans who started running in all directions. A first smoke bomb was launched, followed immediately by a second that ended up at the level of the stewards located near the J2 entrance. Cologne fans came to reinforce the former. Currently there is no Nice in contact.
6:04 in the evening: First contact between two parties. A big mess on the lawn. There is no player on the field. A number of representatives were in the middle of the two camps with policemen in tracksuits, members of the DNLH. Not at all equipped for the maintenance of order, the deputies and the first police tried above all to control the people of Nice.
6:05/6:06 pm: The stewards in the orange and yellow chasubles seem completely overwhelmed. There are many Cologne fans in front of the VIP entrances of the official stand. A dozen individuals contacted representatives and supporters of Nice. Among them, a member identified today by RMC Sport as Romain L.. Agricultural bombs exploded. Many supporters use their belts to contact the people in front. The entrance to J2 was blocked by Nice supporters. Those in Cologne are wearing masks. Fights are involved between the two camps, a man with a white t-shirt is very close to falling to the lower level. Cologne supporters threw several projectiles and struck with poles that served to separate the different areas of the VIP corners.
6:07 in the evening: The police arrived to reinforce the deputies. They enter through opening J2.3. About twenty policemen struggled to reach the small wall that separates Nice from the Germans. They all pulled out batons and two police officers used tear gas to try to disperse the Cologne fans. The latter did not fear the police, throwing projectiles continued.
6:08 in the evening: The police advanced towards the Segurane stand to put the Germans back where they stood. Some Cologne supporters were injured in the face by the use of tear gas.
6:12 p.m: Calm returned on the part of the official tribune, the Germans returned to their tribune. The police seem to have the situation under control.
6:14 p.m: Message from the announcer: “go back to your seats!”, The stadium is never full except in the Cologne area.
6:15 in the evening: One side is relieved, it’s on the other side to warm up. The police were forced through the lawn to get to the side of the Garibaldi tribune.
6:16 p.m: The windows separating the two sectors of the Garibaldi tribune are holding well, the police arrived. An OGCN supporter threw a smoke bomb in front of a Cologne fan near the far post. The police took control of the area, the deputies asked the supporters to return to Populaire Sud.
6:23 in the evening: Message from Jonas Hector to Cologne supporters.
6:35 in the evening: Message from Dante to Nice supporters. The kickoff is in jeopardy. The meeting of UEFA and the prefect, the kick-off was postponed. UEFA pushed for the continuation of the match.
6:55 in the evening: Kick-off is postponed to 7:40 pm