#scenes #chaos #ASSEAuxerre
At the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium,
During our previous match in Saint-Etienne, on May 14 against Reims (1-2), we left the Caldera at night when we met the scientific police, who had come to investigate the fire in a control van television, which started by jets of smoke despite a total camera. On Sunday, this time we were treated to a visit to the press room of two CRS, almost four hours after the end of the second leg play-off lost by ASSE against AJ Auxerre (1-1, 4-5 on penalties to goal). Is it so unlikely given the post-apocalyptic game on the pitch?
The answer is negative, because, before that, the firemen stopped us in the afternoon to ask us if we had “taken gasoline”, and several stewards and spectators took refuge in the press room in the middle of a conference by Jean-Marc Furlan. Similarly, one of the crucial issues last night, in the halls of Geoffroy-Guichard, was not to find a clear project for Ligue 2, but rather fire extinguishers, which were needed in the face of such a galley.
Hoods and metal barriers projected on the lawn
As we might have feared, in a season already marked by major incidents against Anger, Jura Sud, and Reims, the post-match game promised to be explosive at the Caldera, especially in the event of relegation to Ligue 2, as in 1962. 1984, 1996, and 2001. With the bonus of a penalty shootout marked by Ryad Boudebouz’s initial miss, ASSE collapsed at the end of a nightmare year. After the play-off against Auxerre (1-1) three days earlier, the Algerian attacking midfielder naively dreamed “of having a little party with the fans”. Several dozen of them had planned the pyrotechnic paraphernalia to put on a real fireworks show.
Except that seeing several donning a ski mask and descending as close to the pitch as possible before the penalty shootout, one would doubt their festive intentions, and rather anticipate an invasion of the more unmanageable ground if it goes wrong. Auxerrois Birama Touré’s winning goal barely shook Paul Bernardoni’s nets as chaos ensued, with LED billboards smashed at the edge of the pitch, and metal barriers are thrown in the direction of the CRS that had taken place shortly before at the foot of the official stadium Pierre -Grada de Farrand, only to block access to the changing rooms, to the players, as well as to the president Roland Romeyer.
“We will have shovels behind closed doors, as always”
Except that with their smoke bombs and rockets, those whom Loire prefect Catherine Séguin considers “thugs” can attack anyone and anyway. The safety of the players, coaches, and spectators is then the least of their concerns, given the surreal scenes observed for several minutes on the pitch, with for example a Saint-Etienne bench seat. burned in Game. The response of the mobilized security forces is just as immediate: tear gas at all costs, which will even place the child in the middle of ASSE Zaydou Youssouf in respiratory failure in the gallery, according to The team. A small panel of reactions was collected among the 24,489 spectators of this decisive match that has become a nightmare.
- Mathis (20), who was locked in the boxes almost an hour and a half after the game, as the club’s instructions wanted: “We were super anxious. We went back to the shelter and the doors of the stand were closed to guarantee our safety.
- Gabrielle (20), in the same “binarization” configuration of the Pierre-Ferrand, stand and even more uplifted, as she hung out rubbing her eyes on Sunday night from tear gas: “To get to piss off everyone like these people are doing there, it ends our season on a terrible note.
- Stéphane (44), doubtful of the means implemented (250 police and gendarmerie personnel according to the prefecture, “an exceptional system of almost 500 security officers” for ASSE): “It is dramatic at all points, in the image of our season but also from society. There are questions to ask about the security part: a fight broke out in the first half between Magic Fans and Auxerrois, but everyone was able to return to their stands calmly. It is a sign that the club accepts many things.
- Stéphane (49), fatalistic, completes: “We will have a shovel behind closed doors, as always”.
- Jean-Marc Furlan, a coach with a more insane analysis for his new access to Ligue 1: “I was scared because they gave me a lot of tear gas canisters in the face, I was crying (smiles)! At the end of the game, we all came back quickly and we were afraid that there might be one or two missing from the dressing room, so we counted every one. Somehow I want to say that it only exists in France. Some countries have completely extinguished all that. For several months and years, there has been a lot of violence in our stadiums without being able to stop it and eradicate it. It’s a bit sad.”
Even more, is this continuation of the violence that is observed in the surroundings of the stadium. The ASSE attempts a firewall from 22:02 (in the absence of the supposedly mandatory press conference of the future former coach Pascal Dupraz) by announcing in half a word the announcement of the sale of the club by the Romeyer-Caïazzo duo in a near future?
About 200 Stéphanois (according to the prefecture) do not care and throw glass bottles, stones, and even traffic signs over the fence that leads to the official entrance of the players, managers, and partners, as well as towards the CRS gathered in this epicenter of tensions
On the agenda of the emergency meeting at the Ministry of Sports?
“It was unbreathable, we felt that they wanted to give battle to the players by attacking their cars”, confesses a witness close to the chaos, episode 2, outside the Cauldron, until 11:15 pm The number of victims could have been much worse tonight. The prefecture of the Loire thus informs in its last point of 14 minor injuries among the fans, as well as “two injuries among the AJA players”.
In front of Reims, the imposing police water jet helped disperse the rioters, while no arrests have been reported so far. In another press release published during the night, ASSE assures that “it will initiate the corresponding legal procedures.” The emergency meeting, scheduled for Monday at the Ministry of Sports, on the imbalances in the organization of the Champions League final, will you have a little time to give the second part of one of the darkest weekends of the history of football in France?