Investigation launched into French Ligue 1 violence
25 November 2013, 16:55
Paris - An investigation has been launched into the violence that surrounded Sunday's French Ligue 1 match between Nice and Saint-Etienne, the public prosecutor in Nice said Monday.
Eight people were hurt after fans from the two sides tore up seats inside the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice and hurled them at each other.
Saint-Etienne's fans, who had earlier seen the bus carrying them to the ground come under fire from a barrage of stones thrown by rival Nice supporters, had to be surrounded by police and evacuated from the stadium before the game began.
According to a source close to the investigation, the French interior ministry may even discuss the matter.
Some 200 seats were torn up and used as missiles, Nice's head of security Andre Bloch said Sunday night.
Nice's public prosecutor Eric Bedos said that an investigation was underway, although he didn't give any more details.
Nice's deputy mayor Christian Estrosi blamed Saint-Etienne's fans and condemned their "attitude and the acts of vandalism that dishonoured football and even sporting values."
He added that "all the elements at our disposal show that the Saint-Etienne fans behaved like hooligans."
Saint-Etienne official Roland Romeyer did not point his finger at either set of fans but told RTL radio station: "It's clear that these are not normal people, they're not people who had the education that I had from the point of view of respect and human values."