French Interior Minister Nicolas Sarkozy confirmed that the authorities are prepared to implement English-style anti-hooligan measures in an effort to curb the increase in violence at French football matches.
Sarkozy’s comments came in the wake of violent clashes at Wednesday night’s match between Nice and Paris Saint-Germain which left one supporter fighting for his life.
PSG host Marseille on Saturday in what is considered one of the high-risk matches of the season.
“If things don’t calm down, we will use the English system,” Sarkozy said.
“During matches we will point out those we don’t want in stadiums. I found out to my horror that in 2001, not one fan was ejected from a stadium.”
Several hundred people in England are banned from attending matches and Sarkozy believes a similar measure in France would help reduce the likelihood of violent coonfrontations between supporters.
The French parliament yesterday backed new anti-hooligan measures including a two-year jail sentence and €30,000 fine for hooligans who break their stadium ban.
“Authorities should now be able to identify people in stadiums who shouldn’t be there and throw them out,” Sarkozy added.