Terrible scenes in Paris when a plain clothes police officer shot into a crowd of skirmishing soccer fans as he tried to protect a supporter of Hapoel Tel Aviv, killing one person and injuring another.
The incident near the Parc des Princes stadium occurred after Hapoel Tel Aviv's 4-2 victory over Paris Saint-Germain in a UEFA Cup match.
The police officer, who was not identified, was apparently trying to protect a Hapoel Tel Aviv fan set upon by some 100 PSG supporters, police said. The officer lobbed tear gas when the crowd went after the Hapoel supporter, then fired two shots, having been driven into a corner, according to police.
Two PSG fans were injured, with one fan, named as 24-year-old Julien Quemener, dying later, police said.
Hapoel Tel Aviv spokesman Amir Lubin commented that throughout the match there was a very hostile atmosphere towards Hapoel and its supporters.
“We could hear the chants of the French crowd which were in no way connected to football. It was obvious that the PSG supporters were enraged by the result of the game but we didn't imagine it would come to this,” he said.
“The seriousness of this event confirms the absolute necessity of fighting racism and anti-Semitism among PSG fans,” Paris Mayor Bertrand Delanoe said in a statement.
“I want to make sure that Paris' image and values are respected under every circumstance — there is no room for the slightest form of intolerance.”
French Sports Minister Jean-Francois Lamour denounced the
“climate of tension and violence at certain soccer matches.”
Overt racism has become increasingly common at PSG's Parc de Princes stadium, with insults and monkey chants often directed at black players. Far-right gangs have looked to fight black and Arab members of multiethnic rival gangs at the stadium during games.
Meanwhile FARE partner LICRA (Ligue Internationale Contre le Racisme et l’Antisémitisme)have released the following statement :
“LICRA firmly condemns the series of violent, racist and anti-Semitic incidents that took place yesterday around the UEFA Cup encounter between PSG and the Israeli club Hapoel Tel Aviv.
LICRA denounces the atmosphere of insecurity and terror, including racist violence and anti-Semitism and assaults upon people of North African background, which regularly occurs at PSG home games in the streets near the Parc des Princes. Since the start of the 2006-7 season, LICRA has noticed a significant increase in aggressive racist actions at PSG, accompanied by more and more violence.
During and after the game last night, hundreds of PSG supporters screamed anti-Semitic insults such as “Dirty Jew!”, “Death to the Jews!” and “Heil Hitler” accompanied by multiple Nazi salutes, according to several witnesses that contacted LICRA. One witness reported that gangs of youths, some of them in possession of weapons, launched a hunt for Jewish fans once the game had finished.
LICRA calls upon the public authorities to investigate, in the shortest possible time, the circumstances that evolved after the game, which led to the death of one supporter and left another seriously injured.
For LICRA, this tragedy shows once again the failure of the security procedures (CLS) at the Parc des Princes stadium, set up in June 2004 by the Ministry of the Interior, and the shortcomings of the policy of ambiguity conducted by the PSG club, which has now lasted for over twenty years”.