Violence mars French Cup final as Lyon and PSG ultras clash before game

Updated May. 25, 2024 5:35 p.m. ET

VILLENEUVE D'ASCQ, France (AP) — Lyon and Paris Saint-Germain supporters clashed on a highway leading to the venue of the French Cup final a few hours before kickoff on Saturday.

Supporters threw flares and windows were smashed on buses full of supporters. Some buses were set on fire.

The final was deemed a very high security risk by the national police division for the fight against hooliganism, which put the threat level at five on a scale of five, according to RMC Sport.

Lyon and PSG ultras have a long-standing rivalry and were expected to travel to Villeneuve d’Ascq for the final.


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 about 10 minutes in the second half before resuming. Marseille beat Nancy 4-1.

The French Cup final was relocated to Stade Pierre Mauroy in the north of France because of preparations in Paris for the Olympic Games. PSG beat Lyon 2-1.

Violence has stained French football all season.

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

A league game between Montpellier and Clermont was abandoned in October after a Montpellier supporter threw onto the field 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 dozens of ultras before a game between Rennes and Toulouse. French media reports said one Toulouse fan needed hospital treatment for head trauma.

Ultras have been targeting buses carrying supporters and there have been more than a dozen attacks this season.


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