Champions League: Additional security measures outside of PSG’s home grounds to prevent wild fan celebrations SPORTS UPDATES
PSG face five-time champions Bayern Munich in Lisbon, but all eyes will be on the game in bars and cafes at home.
Paris: With Paris Saint-Germain supposed to be only the second French club to win the Champions League, around 3,000 police officers will be deployed on the Champs-Élysées and in front of the club’s stadium on Sunday evening to prevent wild fan celebrations due to coronavirus concerns.
Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin announced the measures on Saturday. To encourage preventive measures, 2,000 masks will be given out to fans who arrive without them. To keep the numbers low, 17 metro stations will be closed and three ring road entry points to Paris will be closed.
“Not just so that things go as well as possible in terms of public safety, but of course so that the wearing of masks can be ensured,” said Darmanin.
PSG face five-time champions Bayern Munich in Lisbon, but all eyes will be on the game in bars and cafes at home. With the number of viruses rising, authorities want to avoid scenes like Tuesday, in which vocal fans made it to the finals for the first time in the club’s 50-year history.
Thousands flocked to the famous Champs-Élysées, some on scooters or hung from cars, lighting the night sky with torches as they danced wildly and cheered. Many were without face masks as social distancing completely vanished amid the hug and cheers.
Police arrested 36 people after crowds at the foot of the Arc de Triomphe deteriorated into dispersed violence and shop windows were broken. However, police authorities were also often criticized for failing to anticipate the situation properly and for only deploying a dozen vans.
The avenue is only accessible to pedestrians from 9 p.m. – start time – without vehicles being allowed to enter. This rare measure is usually reserved for New Years Eve.
PSG will broadcast the game on a giant screen in the Parc des Princes stadium in west Paris, where 5,000 fans will be allowed – the maximum number that can participate in football matches in France.
All fans entering the stadium must wear masks and wash their hands. The police are deployed outside to prevent the widespread rally on Tuesday from happening again.
On the outskirts of the city, 500 people are allowed to watch the game on the training grounds of the club in Saint-Germain-en-Laye.
More than one win is at stake for PSG. She tries to put an end to the decades-long joy of bitter rivals Marseille – the only French club to win the competition in 1993.
The game is massive for the club, which has never crossed the quarter-finals since 2011 despite the huge support from Qatari investors valued at more than 1.5 billion euros ($ 1.77 billion).
This includes a massive transfer expense of € 400 million ($ 472 million) for strikers Neymar and Kylian Mbappé alone.
Now the two most expensive players in the world are under great pressure to make history for PSG.
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