sports

France bans Basel football fans from Nice


French authorities on Tuesday banned Basel fans from the second leg of the Europa Conference League quarter-finals in Nice to avoid confrontations between rival supporters.

The mayor of Nice, Christian Estrosi, last week urged that fans of the Swiss club be banned from Thursday's game.

On Tuesday, the Ministry of the Interior issued an official order, stating that Basel away games are "frequently sources of disturbance to the public order".

"Relations between supporters of the two teams, who share an opposing political ideology, are marked by animosity," the ministry said.

The first leg on April 13 ended 2-2.

The ministry said that ahead of that game in Basel, "high-risk supporters of both teams made contact and planned to confront each other".

On the day of the match, there was "a massive use of pyrotechnic devices" and "incidents and provocations were relayed on social media, but without the planned clashes taking place", the statement read.

"It is feared" that the return match on Thursday "will be the scene of clashes", it added.

Last year, when Basel visited Marseille, further down the Mediterranean coast, in the Europa Conference League last-16, opposing ultras clashed.

Nice fans were involved in violent confrontations with visiting Cologne supporters last September, with 32 people injured.


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