REPORTAGE. Saint-Etienne in Ligue 2: the story of the evening of chaos in Geoffroy-Guichard

REPORTAGE.  Saint-Etienne in Ligue 2: the story of the evening of chaos in Geoffroy-Guichard

From all angles, the end of this Saint-Étienne-Auxerre (1-1, 4-5 per pen), Sunday, May 29, was predictable. Sporty first, as this descent to Ligue 2 hung face to face with ghostly greens during the base season. As for the clashes in the stands, a crystal ball was not necessary to imagine the invasion of Stéphan’s angry supporters after the descent to the field.

At 9:38 p.m., Antony Gautier, the referee of the meeting, had just whistled the end of the overtime that dozens of ultras, mostly from the Green Angels, had left their stands to await a verdict on the edge of the field. . In the already lunar scene, they experienced a penalty shootout on the edge of the lawn, ready to jump on the meadow. The CRS protected the arrival in the locker room from them. According to our information, the supporters planned to roll over the field, no matter what happens, whether it is a hold or a descent. “I’m exhausted tonight, we’ve come up with plans A, B, C, D, etc., if the field is crossed.”the club employee confided a few moments before the meeting began.

Frankly, crisis management turned out to be chaotic. The horde of stewards did not play the role of filter barrier, and safety equipment around the meeting, around 200 CRS, proved insufficient to prevent an overflow, the day after the incidents during the Champions League final at the Stade de France. Loire Prefecture said the victims were 14 slightly injured by the police, 17 slightly injured by the fans and two slightly injured by the Auxerre players.

Already in the 77th minute, a handful of fans entered the lawn to celebrate Mahdi’s Camara equalizer. The announcer did not consider it appropriate to reprimand them. A good hour later, at 9:48 p.m., the joy of Kotle turned to lightning. The players have not yet been defeated by penalties when CRS has already escorted them to the locker room. In addition to whistling, “supporters gathered towards them”the witness told us “two meters away” from the scene.

“We all went back to the locker room quickly, we were afraid we were missing one or two!”Jean-Marc Furlan smiled a few minutes later. And coach Auxerre adds: “I took I don’t even know how much tear gas!”. Second one Birama Touré succeeded with his shot on goal and sent Auxerre to Ligue 1 (and therefore Saint-Étienne to Ligue 2).The chain of smokestacks was propelled by heavy fire on the lawn in the direction of the CRS. These red and green rockets with a dull sound before the detonation probably headed for the locker rooms. Fireworks were also fired.

In response, the CRS propelled tear gas to disperse the Saint-Etienne crowd. Their intensity, which was felt throughout the stadium, emptied the bays of the boiler and interrupted the whistle of the journalists present in the press box. Half an hour later, the corridors and corridors of the enclosure still smelled unpleasant.

Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium sank under tear gas sails, May 29, 2022. (Elio Bono / Franceinfo: sport)

Meanwhile, the tension eased. Ten minutes after the invasion of the field, only a few dozen supporters remained on the lawn, drowning their despair by a quiet walk. The smoke finally dissipated and you could see 1100 Auxerre fans celebrating their rise. Although vehemently chanting, their songs painfully masked the audible anguish of Saint-Etienne fans. Whoever carried out any acts of violence outside Geoffroy-Guichard, in particular, attacked “about the coach of Auxerre players”, announced the L’Equipe channel. The prefecture made that clear “1,154 AJA supporters were able to leave the stadium safely from midnight under police escort”after another very sad evening for French football.

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