PSG's future 'at stake' as supporter dies after attack by own fans
Published 18/03/2010 | 12:18
A Paris Saint-Germain football fan has died after spending weeks in a coma following an attack by rival PSG supporters.
PSG's history of fan violence took a fatal twist with the death of the 37-year-old man, named only as Yann L, who suffered a beating by fellow PSG supporters on the fringes of a match against their arch rivals Marseille on February 28.
Amid widespread calls for violence to be eradicated around PSG's notoriously troubled Parc des Princes stadium, French Secretary of State for Sport Rama Yade said the club is now under even more intense pressure to act.
"The club's survival is at stake," Yade said in a statement after the fan's death.
"The worst has happened. Passions transformed into sordid, senseless, murderous rage," she said. "Love of the team jersey has become hate for the other, hate for the sport, hate for life.
"It is a victory for barbarism and a defeat for sport, fraternity and civilisation. Everyone should be concerned, first and foremost the leaders of all clubs. This may take time but our resolve will not falter.
"Supporters who kill each other should be punished with the utmost severity. The very survival of the club is at stake."
Despite their relative lack of success on the field, PSG are still one of the best supported clubs in the country - although that reputation is tarnished by the delicate co-existence of several rival fans groups at the Parc des Princes.
The deceased was reportedly a member of the 'Casual Firm' group of supporters who congregate at the Boulogne end of the Parc, and was attacked by members of a rival group from the Auteuil end.
Offering condolences to the fan's family, PSG said: "We intend to fully investigate the consequences of this incident and then take the necessary action to help eradicate violence from in an and around the Parc des Princes and during the team's away trips.
"Once again the behaviour of a band of pseudo-supporters has plunged the club, its management, its shareholder, its sponsors, its players and its real fans into a state of sadness and dismay.
"We want whoever is responsible for this criminal act to be caught, interrogated and charged."
PSG have banned their fans from away games for the foreseeable future while this weekend's game against Nice will be played behind closed doors following trouble involving Nice fans in their game against Monaco on Jan 30.
The parents of the deceased have called for calm following their son's death.
In a statement they said: "All those who considered themselves attached to our son should show calm, restraint and dignity in the expression of their emotion."
Four people were arrested yesterday in connection with the death.