Tottenham Hotspur have responded to reports from the club’s Supporters’ Trust regarding the behaviour of Marseille fans during and after the Champions League fixture last week. Concerns were also raised around the effectiveness of the police presence on the night.
The North London club hosted Ligue 1 side Marseille in the Group D opener of this year’s Champions League. It was Spurs’ first game in the European competition since 2020.
Despite a cagey first half, Spurs ended up on the right side of a 2-0 scoreline. Two goals from Brazilian attacker Richarlison gave the Lilywhites the win after the sending off of Marseille’s Chancel Mbemba on 48 minutes helped change the game.
In the stands, the French fans caused very few problems for much of the game, but after Richarlison scored his second of the night, an altercation broke out between the two sets of supporters.
Marseille fans kicking off towards full-time. Whole barrage of police deployed to stop them getting to the Spurs fans, drinks and bottles being thrown in all directions. #THFC pic.twitter.com/rRlcEQCHMt
— Mitch Fretton (@mitch_fretton) September 7, 2022
Marseille fans were seen damaging a Pride flag which was hung in the stadium, and five were arrested after the match (Evening Standard).
The Tottenham Hotspur Supporters’ Trust issued a statement and wrote to the club about the incidents, and the club has now responded (via THST Official).
In response to the Trust’s concerns regarding police escorts for visiting supporters, the club said “a number of dynamic risk assessments” were carried out “with a view to containing the group and ensuring wider public order.”
Pyrotechnics were also used within the stadium by travelling supporters, but the club has reassured the Trust that “airport style security” was in place for fans entering the stadium. The Supporters’ Trust insists they “remain concerned” about this issue.
With regards to the altercation between home and away fans, the club said: “The segregation line was seven seats wide, in line with Club policy for high-risk matches and was adequate in preventing any direct confrontation between opposing fans.”
The club also states that the police “response time was appropriate” in being deployed to the stands and assisting the stewards in dealing with the situation.
The Supporters’ Trust has also received reassurances from the club that the Pride flag “will be in place for the next home game.”
Nevertheless, the Trust retains its concerns and “representatives will be meeting with the Club this week to discuss the incidents and response as well as the preparations for the remaining home fixtures.”
Spurs Web Opinion
The safety of supporters should be of the utmost importance to the club and the police, and it’s clear that a number of incidents compromised this on the night of the Marseille game. It’s hoped that the meeting between the Supporters’ Trust and the club will prove beneficial, and that protocols will be tightened moving forward.
Have something to tell us about this article?