Chelsea fans sprayed with tear gas as police force fans to leave seats during PSG defeat
Chelsea fans were targeted with CS spray during the 2-1 defeat by Paris Saint-Germain on Tuesday night for the second year in a row as police imposed strict measures on away supporters at the Parc des Princes.
Some fans in the upper tier were forced to leave their seats shortly before Chelsea’s equaliser, scored by midfielder John Obi Mikel, on the brink of half-time after French police used tear gas to try and keep calm in the stands.
Officers from France’s anti-riot CRS unit lined the away section given that trouble has flared up in previous years between the two clubs, with this season’s Champions League last-16 encounter the third consecutive campaign that Chelsea and PSG have been drawn against each other in Europe.
However, while clashes around Paris were not repeated this year with no reports of fan trouble in the French capital, police did resort to using CS spray on the section of the Parc des Princes stadium containing the Chelsea supporters.
The spray – an irritant designed to make it almost impossible to breathe in forcing large groups to disperse – led to some fans retreating back to the stadium concourse for shelter. Some police officers did claim that the spray had been let off by accident, according to the Daily Mail.
Supporters were also threatened with further measures during the second half, although officers did not carry out their threat and the rest of the match passed by without incident.
Tensions between Chelsea and PSG fans have been high over the last two years following clashes in Paris that has seen English fans attacked in the capital city ahead of matches and a French commuter, named Souleymane Sylla, racially abused after he was prevented from boarding a Metro train by a group of Chelsea supporters.
Sylla took part in PSG’s attempts to welcome their opponents to Paris this year, and the measures taken to try and smooth over relations appear to have succeeded with no rival fan clashes reported by French police.
Independent News Service Jack De Menezes
Independent News Service