Dozens of disgruntled Paris Saint-Germain fans clashed with French riot police on the Champs-Élysées on Sunday after their team lost to Bayern Munich in the Champions League final in Lisbon.
The riot police were already prepared to deal with wild fan celebrations or mournings and about 3,000 police personnel had been deployed at the Champs-Élysées and outside the club’s stadium on Sunday night. Around 2,000 masks were made available to fans arriving on the Champs-Élysées without them. Bars and cafés were monitored to ensure people respected virus prevention measures, with people risking a fine for not wearing a mask.
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Much in line with anticipation, several incidents of scattered violence attempted looting and clashes with the police personnel were reported from the city after PSG failed to put up a winning performance against Bayern Munich in the final. In another incident close to the Champs-Élysées, police in full riot gear burst into a bar to aggressively remove people because some were not wearing masks or were failing to keep social distancing.
Over in western Paris, PSG beamed the match on two giant screens at its Parc des Princes stadium, with 5,000 fans allowed inside in keeping with the maximum allowed for soccer games in France. But only minutes before kickoff, at 9 p.m. local time, hundreds of fans were still queuing and frustrations soon escalated because they could not see the biggest game in their club’s history. However, after PSG failed to register a win, all caution was thrown to the wind as fans went on a rampage outside the stadium.
PSG was trying to end decades of gloating from bitter rival Marseille — still the only French club to have won the competition in 1993. The defeat was met with huge celebrations in Marseille, where fans cheered and let off flares and fireworks, thus leading to even more agitation from the PSG fans. In some reported incidents, riot police had to use tear gas to disperse fans gathered outside the club’s stadium.
Earlier in the evening, Bayern Munich defeated Paris Saint-Germain 1-0, in an exhilarating final, to clinch the UEFA Champions League 2020 title.