Marseille fans charged with assaulting referee after UEFA Champions League clash

Marseille fan faces attempted murder charge for crowd unrest

A fan has been accused of trying to assault a referee after the UEFA Champions League game in which he allegedly threw a water bottle at the linesman.

A club fan was charged with attempting to cause harm to an official on the pitch during the second leg of Barcelona-Marseille on Wednesday night following an alleged clash between supporters during the game.

The defender accused of assaulting the linesman is now under investigation for another incident involving an abuse of the referee system, according to El Transportere.

La Gazzetta dello Sport described the incident as “another example of how difficult it is to maintain order and discipline in this city” following reports of a large group of Marseille supporters charging a linesman with a bottle after a match.

However, the Marsellois club said it believed the fan who attacked the linesman was an anti-police vigilante who had been arrested in connection with a separate incident involving one of their players.

The fans’ behaviour in the Barceloneta stands during the second leg of the Champions League clash was described as “silly” by the city’s mayor, but he said there was also “very little” that he could do to help them.

“We can only do as much as we can on many levels, from police intervention to the judicial and educational ones. There is a lot we can do,” the president of the Barceloneta Residents’ Association, Xavier Pascual, told El Transportere.

The club’s mayor, Xavier Trias, added that there were no police officers present at the match.

Police, however, say the incident is being assessed as an attempted assault and that the suspect is already facing a number of charges – including of aggravated breach of the peace and offensive conduct.

The alleged assailant, a young man, was identified on Friday night and given a number but not arrested, according to the El Transportere report.

Marseille are one of four clubs whose fans have formed a violent group that has threatened violence. It is estimated that more than 20,000 people descended on the city of 1.5 million people for Monday’s derby game, which was played behind closed doors, to watch the game against Barcelona.

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