A policeman shot dead a Paris St Germain fan and seriously injured another following the French team’s defeat by Hapoel Tel Aviv in the UEFA Cup.
According to reports the plainclothes policeman was attempting to protect a French supporter of the Israeli team who was attacked by PSG fans outside the stadium.
At first the policeman let off a tear gas canister to try to disperse his assailants, then fired his gun, killing one man immediately and injuring another.
Police alleged the PSG fans appeared to be far-right sympathisers and were chanting “France for the French” as they confronted the Hapoel supporter.
“(The officer) fired in legitimate self-defense in order to protect his physical person. He had come to the aid of a man in accordance with our rules of engagement, and he had no choice but to shoot,” said Patrice Ribeiro of the Synergie police union.
“A fan asked for help, and this Caribbean colleague of ours came to his assistance. He took refuge in a McDonald’s restaurant and saw this horde of savages come at him,” said Joaquin Masanet of the UNSA-police union.
“I am sorry that there is a dead PSG fan but one has to say that these people are racists who attacked a police officer because he was a man of colour,” he said.
“I am shattered by what happened after the game at Parc des Princes,” said French Professional Football League (LFP) president Frederic Thiriez.
“We must get to the bottom of this and football, together with the authorities, must find ways to ensure this never happens again,” Thiriez said in a statement.
In an account published on the L’Express website, the journalist, Philippe Broussard, said the crowd was apparently initially unaware he was a policeman.