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Fan's death threatens PSG’s future

PSG have gained a reputation for stirring up trouble
PSG have gained a reputation for stirring up trouble PSGmag

French Secretary of State for Sport, Rama Yade, has said the survival of Paris Saint-Germain football club is “at stake” if the club does not start taking intense action against fan violence. A Paris Saint-Germain football supporter died after spending weeks in a coma, following an attack by fellow fans.

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“The worst has happened,” Yade said. “Supporters who kill each other should be punished with the utmost severity. The very survival of the club is at stake.”

The 37-year-old Parisian supporter, known as Yann L, suffered a beating by fellow PSG supporters on the fringes of a match against arch-rivals Marseille on 28 February.

He died early Thursday.

PSG president Robin Leproux on Thursday announced fresh measures to combat fan violence, but he did not give any details. Leproux expressed his condolences to the supporter’s family.

"Yann’s death has profoundly moved the club," he said. "It is vital that he did not die in vain, that he did not die for nothing.”

Francis Graille, who was president of PSG between 2003 and 2005, said football clubs in France needed the support of the government to be able to fight fan violence effectively.

The affair has taken a political turn, with President Nicolas Sarkozy's UMP accusing the opposition Socialists of hampering attempts to combat hooliganism.

Paris mayor Bertrand Delanoë has “having forgotten that the Socialist Party has done everything to boycott any document that allows to fight” against hooliganism, UMP-spokesperson Frédéric Lefebvre said Thursday.

Alain Dujon, president of Auxerre football club, expressed his regrets on Thursday about the Interior Minister Brice Hortefeux’s decision that the PSG-Auxerre game on 23 March will be played behind closed doors.

“It is a big disappointment seen from a sports point of view, even if we understand the decision was taken to ensure the general public’s safety”, Dujon explained.

PSG fans have been banned by the club’s officials from all away games for the foreseeable future.

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