Police arrest 125 Dinamo Zagreb fans before PSG match
PARIS - Police said they had detained 125 rowdy Dinamo Zagreb football fans in the French capital before the team’s Champions League game against Paris Saint Germain on Tuesday.
French police arrested 104 Croatian fans Tuesday at a Parisian hotel, after detaining 21 others the night before after supporters of the two teams clashed in street fights at the popular night haunt of Place de la Bastille.
Six French fans were also arrested at the Monday night brawl, which left one Croat supporter seriously injured, said police, who restored calm shortly before midnight (2300 GMT).
If French prosecutors pursue a case against the Croatian fans, each will face up to six months in prison and 30,000 euros ($38,000) in fines for ignoring a travel ban imposed Sunday by Interior Minister Manuel Valls on Dinamo fans coming to France for the match.
The detainees will be held for a maximum of 24 hours for ignoring the ban.
Although they boycott home matches in the Champions League because of a row with Dinamo’s management, a gang called the Bad Blue Boys travels abroad to deliberately provoke trouble, hoping the club will be sanctioned.
“This is something that badly harms the image of our club, but also the image of Zagreb and the Croatian sports as a whole,” Dinamo spokeswoman Morana Djurevic told AFP.
“The club is helpless and there is nothing we can do. We don’t take fans at any game played outside Zagreb or abroad.”
The Croatian Football Federation backed the arrests.
“We support any action that leads to the prevention of violence or punishing of those who committed violent acts” at sports events, the federation’s spokesman Neven Cvijanovic told AFP.
Valls said Sunday he imposed the travel ban because he considered there was a real chance of “serious incidents occurring should fans from both sides come across each other”.
He said he had been informed by Croatian authorities that 150 to 200 violent supporters from the Bad Blue Boys would be travelling without tickets for the match.
As a result, Valls had decided to forbid “from November 5 to midday November 7, the travel either individually or as a group, by road, rail or air of all Dinamo supporters to French border points and the Ile-de-France region (the Paris area)”.
Some 80 PSG fans were stopped on the Slovenian border with Croatia and refused entry last month on their way to the two sides’ match there.