Ligue 1 want stadium bans to fight hooliganism
PARIS, Dec 5 (Reuters) - Barring supporters registered as violent from entering stadiums is the best way to fight soccer hooliganism, the French Professional Football League (LFP) said on Tuesday.
The death of a Paris St Germain fan following last month's 4-2 UEFA Cup defeat by Hapoel Tel Aviv has triggered a nationwide debate about how to rid French soccer of violence and racism.
The lower section of the Boulogne Kop, an area of the Parc des Princes where PSG's most extreme fans traditionally assemble, has been closed on police orders until further notice.
A league match between PSG and Toulouse scheduled for Sunday, which would have been the capital side's first home game since the incidents, has been postponed for security reasons.
French daily Le Parisien stirred controversy on Tuesday by saying the LFP shared the PSG supporters' view that the Boulogne Kop should be reopened.
'The LFP is not asking for areas of the stands to be reopened. It is only asking for effective and realistic measures to fight hooliganism,' the ruling body responded in a statement.
The League made clear, however, that it believed stadium bans would have more effect than decisions to close stands.
'The LFP has been convinced for years that the most effective measure is to bar the 300 or 400 individuals known as violent from entering the stadium and to retain them at the police station during the game,' the statement added.
'If such a measure was really implemented, the question of closing stands would become of secondary importance.'
A policeman shot dead 25-year-old Julien Quemener and injured another fan while under attack from supporters after the Nov. 23 game.
Witnesses said the policeman opened fire on a mob of PSG fans who were chasing a Jewish supporter of Israeli team Hapoel outside Parc des Princes.
PSG have been tainted by hooliganism for years. Their next home game is against Panathinaikos in the UEFA Cup on Dec. 13.