As reported by Nice-Matin, French authorities have banned FC Basel fans from travelling for the club’s UEFA Europa Conference League tie against OGC Nice on Thursday.
The scores are level heading into the second leg of the tie at the Allianz Riviera. Whilst Didier Digard’s side are focusing on reaching the semi-finals of the tournament, national and local authorities have been working to control the perceived threat of the travelling Swiss fans.
Nice’s Mayor, Christian Estrosi, announced last week that he hoped that the relevant authorities would take action to prevent the arrival of Basel fans on the Riviera. It was then announced earlier on Tuesday that Basel’s fans would be essentially banned from the city centre of the Côte d’Azur city, whilst numerous entrances to the Allianz Riviera would be closed.
However, further measures have now been approved. Local authorities wrote to the Interior Minister, Gérald Darmanin, to request that Basel’s fans be banned from making the trip. That request has now been approved, but there is a feeling that the approval has come too late, with Swiss fans already en route to the South of France, and tickets already purchased.
In preparation, more security forces have been brought in for the European tie, which is deemed “high risk.” There has already been violence at Nice’s home stadium during this Europa Conference League campaign. The kick-off of Nice’s match against FC Köln was delayed after fights broke out between the opposing sets of fans. Some supporters involved in the violence were hospitalised, with the game almost cancelled.
Basel fans have also been involved in violence during another visit to France. They were involved in a brawl last year during Basel’s Conference League round of 16 clash against Olympique de Marseille.
GFFN | Luke Entwistle