The situation is tense in the streets of Marseille, a few hours before the start of the quarterfinals of the Conference League between OM and PAOK Saloniki (9 p.m.).
It is a meeting under very high tension. It has already risen several steps in the streets of Marseille in recent hours in the streets of Marseille before the quarterfinals of the Conference League between OM and PAOK Saloniki (9:00 PM). Several skirmishes broke out with Greek fans in the city center on Wednesday evening. On Thursday, calm apparently returned. But the situation remains tense, especially in the La Joliette district.
Several dozen police vehicles
Many PAOK Salonika supporters gathered in front of the Joliette Theater, all dressed in black. Some are already very drunk, others are holding wooden bats. There are fears of an organized fight with supporters of Marseille and several dozen police vehicles are on the scene. The Bouches-du Rhône prefecture classified this meeting as a high risk due to the presence of 3,000 opponents in good standing.
According to our information, the PAOK had promised in writing with the prefecture of Bouches-du Rhône that the Greek supporters would not come to the city center of Marseille. It was even one of the conditions to accept the arrival of 3,000 PAOK fans. Wednesday night, this promise was not kept, with several hundred Greek fans gathered in a hotel near the La Joliette district. Clashes then ensued as a few groups of Greek supporters came out and were attacked by Marseille’s ultras.
On Wednesday evening and today, local authorities expressed their incomprehension to UEFA and PAOK that Greek supporters did not respect the order to avoid the city center. PAOK fans normally meet at an undisclosed location outside Marseille for a safer and guided bus arrival. Police and CRS are deployed to prevent collisions before or after the game.
Several incidents have disrupted the European career of Jorge Sampaoli’s men this season. The OM v Galatasaray (0-0) meeting in the Europa League was marred by the throwing of projectiles and strong tensions between the two sides in the stands. She was even briefly arrested. UEFA had ordered the closure of the North stand of the Velodrome for the reception of Lazio Rome, on November 4 (2-2).
The reception of the Italians was also marked by the throwing of projectiles towards the field and the brief interruption of the meeting. The round of 16 of the Conference League against Basel was also marked by incidents before the kick-off between Marseille and Swiss supporters at a roundabout near the stadium. Several people had been arrested. Such a scenario is feared again this Thursday.