The boiler was overflowing. Since the end of the ASSE relegation to Ligue 2, on the evening of May 29, the lawn of the Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium in Saint-Etienne has been attacked by several dozen fans. “Several hundred ultra supporters stormed the field and threw projectiles, fireworks and smoke bombs at the public and the stands.” summed up the prefecture of Loire in a tweet. Two hundred and fifty CRS police and mobile gendarmes were mobilized to secure this meeting between AJ Auxerre and AS Saint-Etienne. Both clubs questioned the return from the playoffs and decided whether or not to stay in League 1. Both teams were divided in penalties after two matches with a 1: 1 draw.
“We knew that the course would be attacked tonight, whether they won or lost, it was a planned situation.”, says a source from the club. Authorities were expecting a rough evening, and access to the field is part of the crowd management. As the public moves through the stands, security barriers can be lowered to prevent the dramas of football in the past.
But events raise further questions. The less-anticipated, numerous detonations of smokestacks and fireworks caused a dangerous situation, especially because they targeted players and the public. In the second, following the last goal shot, which marked the defeat of the ASSE, groups of supporters fired pyrotechnic devices aimed at the players’ exit tunnel as they tried to get into the locker room in a hurry. “We were lucky at the time”, recognizes the framework of the club. There is no need to regret any serious injuries.
Dozens of these projectiles have also arrived on the official platform. Images posted on social media showed fireballs at the base of her stands. Supporters tried to force the gates to enter. Security forces repulsed them using tear gas. The side lines were lit. All the billboards around the playground were destroyed. The stadium shop was looted. While coach AJ Auxerre held a post-match conference, spectators entered the press room to take refuge to avoid crowd movement and smoke. “I was scared, I took a lot of tear gas on my face”Jean-Marc Furlan told reporters. The smoke spread to the locker room.
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