Police order stand closure at troubled PSG

November 29, 2006

PARIS, Nov 29 (Reuters) - The Boulogne Kop, an area of the Parc des Princes where Paris St Germain's most extreme fans traditionally assemble, has been closed on police orders until further notice following the death of a PSG fan last week.

Paris police chief Pierre Mutz said the closure will take effect from Sunday's Ligue 1 match against Toulouse. The kick-off has also been brought forward three hours from six o'clock in the evening to three in the afternoon.

'Access to the lower part of the tribune of the Boulogne Kop will not be granted on Sunday and it will remain closed even for season ticket holders until further notice, It will affect about 2,000 fans,' Mutz said after a three-hour meeting with the club's officials at police headquarters on Monday.

A policeman shot dead 25-year-old Julien Quemener and injured another while under attack from fans following PSG's 4-2 defeat by Israeli team Hapoel Tel Aviv in a UEFA Cup match last week.

Witnesses said the policeman opened fire on a mob of PSG fans who were chasing a Jewish supporter of the Israeli team outside the stadium following the match.

However, the Hapoel fan said the policeman did not have the intention of killing.

The fan's death triggered a nationwide debate about how to rid soccer of violence and racism in France.

'We have received some re-assuring news from PSG about how the season tickets are isssued and delivered to fans. This will be made under the control of the club. There was no way to let the fans associations deal with the tickets,' Christophe Caresche, a Paris deputy mayor added.

PSG chairman Alain Cayzac said: 'This is sad. It has never happened before. I hope its only a temporary measure and I hope it gives all the parties involved the opportunity to review the situation and to think about it,' he told French radio.

Cayzac has also called for a meeting with police, French soccer officials, delegates of the fans associations and PSG officials to discuss the issue.