Fan clashes before French Cup final between Lyon and PSG lead to 30 injuries, 10 arrests

Updated May. 26, 2024 7:15 a.m. ET

The latest incident of fan violence to mar French soccer this season led to 30 injuries after rivals from Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain fought on a highway before Saturday's French Cup final near the city of Lille.

Prefecture officials in charge of France’s northern region said in a statement Sunday that 14 of the injured needed medical treatment. One bus was burned and two others damaged during the clashes, which involved more than 200 fans and took place at around 6 p.m. local time. Eight police officers sustained minor injuries.

Images online showed rivals charging into each other before one of the groups, clad all in white, clambered over barriers and retreated across a nearby field.

Supporters threw flares and windows were smashed on buses. The final was deemed a very high security risk by the national police division for the fight against hooliganism, and the incidents happened despite fan buses from both clubs being escorted by police.


Lyon and PSG ultras have a long-standing rivalry and were expected to travel to Villeneuve d’Ascq for the final. The PSG group was dressed in dark clothing while the other was in white, representing Lyon. Some wore balaclavas to hide their faces as they fought.

Bertrand Gaume, the prefect for upper France, praised the police forces for intervening and preventing further violence. There were 10 arrests.

PSG supporters also caused trouble in the youth French Cup final, a curtain-raiser to the French Cup final, by throwing projectiles at Marseille Under-19 goalkeeper Aboubaka Dosso. The game was suspended for 10 minutes in the second half before resuming.

The French Cup final was relocated to Stade Pierre Mauroy near Lille because of preparations at Stade de France for the Paris Olympics.

PSG beat Lyon 2-1 in Kylian Mbappé's last game for PSG.


Violence has marred soccer in France, and other European countries, all season.

A Nantes supporter was stabbed to death in the city of Nantes by a driver whose vehicle was carrying Nice supporters before a league game in December.

In October, a league game between Montpellier and Clermont was abandoned after a Montpellier supporter threw a firecracker which exploded near Clermont goalkeeper Mory Diaw.

Also in October, a league game between Marseille and Lyon was postponed after then Lyon coach Fabio Grosso suffered a serious head injury when the team bus was hit by thrown objects on the way to Stade Velodrome, shattering some windows. Grosso’s deep cut above his left eye required stitches and he wore a large bandage around his head. Inside the stadium, Lyon supporters were also seen making Nazi salutes and monkey gestures.

Last month, a violent street brawl involved around 150 ultras before a game between Rennes and Toulouse. The incident appeared pre-arranged as it took place on a side street away from the stadium and police. French media reports said one Toulouse fan needed hospital treatment for head trauma.

Toulouse fans launched steel barriers and other objects at rival Marseille fans as they clashed outside the stadium before a league game.

Ultras have also been targeting buses carrying rival supporters and there have been several attacks this season, including rocks and other objects dropped from overhead bridges.

In February, a Nice fan was injured when a bus carrying supporters was pelted with stones after a Friday-night league game at Lyon.


AP soccer: