DECRYPTION – The Professional Football League (LFP) is preparing a new special plan to combat violence in stadiums, as Ligue 1 resumes its rights on French lawns this weekend.
Affected by numerous incidents last season (Nice-Marseille, Lens-Lille, ASSE-Auxerre, Angers-Marseille, Lyon-Marseille…), the French Football Championships must prepare for all security scenarios .
If the note from the national division for the fight against hooliganism (DNLH) has not yet been published and the report requested by the LFP, from criminologist Alain Bauer is still being written, several details of the new security plan were unveiled by our colleagues from RMC Sports.
Specialized referent police officers
Among the major measures studied by the LFP, the creation of stewards specialized in security and emergency interventions in the stands. The League would even be ready to issue these private security personnel full accreditation to help them travel during matches.
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The generalization of referent police officers is also widely debated within the League. Since the end of June, a dozen clubs in the championship have been working with a referent police officer whose mission is to intervene in the dialogue between the various protagonists, to calm overflows during a meeting and above all to facilitate emergency decisions. This idea had been launched in 2019, notably at the Parc des Princes, but is still struggling to become permanent in Ligue 1.
Anti-projection and anti-intrusion devices
In the new lines of the security protocol, the LFP will put the necessary means so that the 40 clubs can benefit from anti-projection (safety nets) and anti-intrusion (grids, plexiglass, barriers, pits) security devices. Large means that will be removable and activated on the recommendations of local prefectures or the DNLH.
The League specifies that these devices will not be compulsory (unless a meeting is considered to be at risk) but they must nevertheless remain applicable at all times. In concrete terms, a club can choose not to install safety nets or grids, but the overall device must remain close at hand for immediate use in the event of an emergency.
Another detail of the LFP: the clubs are free to choose their preferred devices and other means of security. Each team is free to prefer barriers rather than grids for intrusions, for example. Note that regarding projectiles, the LFP will definitely ban plastic bottles in stadiums.
The clubs are actively preparing
During the summer preparations of Ligue 1 clubs, excesses have already taken place during friendly matches. English supporters of Aston Villa were attacked by Rennais, while several fans of OGC Nice were violently attacked by tifosi from Torino during scuffles.
“It bothers me to hear the ANS say that there are good and bad supporters, good and bad ultras. Words are important. There are supporters and criminals. We must get the criminals out of the stadiums,” Vincent Labrune said at a conference organized by the LFP last June.
While the curtain on French football will rise for a new Ligue 1 season which promises to be exciting, the clubs have carried out numerous simulations to prepare for all possible scenarios. Simulations of crisis meetings organized to counter situations involving the throwing of projectiles or the invasion of land.
Regarding Ligue 2, the first good news is the widespread installation of protective nets in the stands. For the first time in the history of the second division, all of the 20 clubs have means to avoid the throwing of projectiles on the lawn. Step by step, the LFP advances and barricades itself.