Cologne urges fans to give evidence after violence in Nice

·2 min read

COLOGNE, Germany (AP) — German soccer club Cologne has urged its fans to submit photos and videos to a police “evidence portal” to identify those responsible for violence at the Europa Conference League game in Nice.

Thirty-two people were injured at Thursday’s match between Nice and Cologne when fights broke out among supporters in the stands at Allianz Riviera stadium. The game ended 1-1 after the start was delayed by about an hour.

French prosecutors launched investigations Friday and UEFA opened a disciplinary case with eight charges against Nice, including failure by the French club to screen and search spectators, and three against Cologne.

Cologne police have set up “an evidence portal where photos or videos of the incidents can be uploaded," said the German club, which hosts Union Berlin in a Bundesliga game on Sunday.

“On both sides, it was a small minority of under 100 people who caused the violent events to transpire within the stadium,” said Christian Keller, the club's managing director. “More than 7,900 of the 8,000 FC fans had nothing to do with the violence."

Keller also said the violence was “particularly regrettable” because they had pointed out “risks and gaps” in the French security plan before the match.

“Unfortunately, these warnings, which had not been heeded, were confirmed during the course of the day, when French hooligans attacked FC fans in the city and around the stadium,” Keller said.

Bernard Gonzalez, French government’s regional administrator, said thousands of German fans began consuming alcohol early Thursday in downtown bars. Those “most at risk” were supposed to be placed in a secure part of the stadium, but they broke free alongside some Parisian hooligans and kicked off the violence, he said.

Paris Saint-Germain condemned the violence after it emerged that fans from a banned group of hardcore PSG supporters took part in the clashes.

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The Associated Press