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SBD Global/May 15, 2013/International Football

Paris Police Ban PSG From Public Celebrations Following 'Mob Violence' At Title Party

Fans climb TV cranes, clash with police at a PSG title celebration Monday.
Celebrations to mark Ligue 1 Paris St. Germain's first French league title in 19 years "were cut short" Monday after fans "fought with riot police, leaving 30 people injured, including three police officers," according to Clare Murphy of FRANCE24. Following the clashes, "which have dealt a serious blow to PSG’s bid to restore its image following years of fan violence," Paris Police Commissioner Bernard Boucault said that PSG "would never again be allowed to hold a public celebration in the French capital." Boucault said that a total of 800 officers were deployed to contain the supporters, but "it took them several hours to bring the situation under control." Boucault said, "The conclusion you can draw is that there won’t be more any more events like this in a public place for Paris St. Germain." Tens of thousands of fans had gathered at the Place du Trocadero by the Eiffel Tower in Paris on Monday evening to see PSG players and coach Carlo Ancelotti. However, there was "not even time for a speech" from Ancelotti or captain Thiago Silva, who held the trophy aloft with defensive partner Mamadou Sakho. After only a few minutes, "the players were led away by security officials" (FRANCE24, 5/14).

'MOB VIOLENCE': REUTERS' Julien Pretot reported "some of those involved wore PSG shirts and climbed on to temporary scaffolding" as the club's players were showing off the French champions' trophy. As the players were forced to leave the Place du Trocadero, the ceremony's public announcer said, "The scaffolding is going to collapse. We can't welcome the players in these conditions." Riot police "fired tear gas to try to disperse the crowd" after up to what police estimated was 15,000 people had gathered to celebrate PSG's first league title since '94. Bus shelters "were destroyed during the episode with some of the people involved covering their faces" (REUTERS, 5/13). In London, Peter Allen reported "shops were looted, cars burnt out, and passers-by threatened by hooded youths during confrontations between hooligans and CRS riot police, who used tear gas and baton charges against the thugs." A photographer at the scene said, "There are gangs of hooligans everywhere, targeting whatever they can. This isn’t about football -- it’s about mob violence. The Champs Elysee is a battlefield" (DAILY MAIL, 5/13).
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