MARSEILLE: A Marseille fan has been sentenced to two years in prison after incidents outside the Velodrome during the weekend visit of Paris Saint-Germain that left a police officer injured, the local prosecutor's office said Wednesday.
During the first half of Sunday's match "hundreds of people tried to enter" the stadium even though the gates had been closed, requiring the intervention of the police who fired tear gas after an officer was injured "in the face".
In total, 21 people were arrested and 17 taken into custody, charged with damage, possession of rockets, and violence or insult or resisting police officers. During the second half, a fan ran onto the pitch and approached the PSG star Lionel Messi before being taken away by stewards.
In cases heard on Monday, five defendants admitted their participation in the incidents. The prosecutor's office in Marseille said their punishments included a four-month suspended sentence, fines and, in one case, two years in jail.
A sixth defendant, a 42-year-old man who is a member of the "Winners", a Marseille supporters' club, was sentenced for "rebellion" to six months of house arrest under electronic surveillance. "My client had his ticket but he found himself at the wrong time in the wrong place", pleaded his lawyer, Arnaud Ibanez.
All six received one-year stadium bans. One more suspect is to be tried on Wednesday and three more at a later date. Among those arrested, others have had their cases dismissed or have agreed to take citizenship courses.
Marseille had already been punished twice this season by the French football authorities for incidents in the stands in matches at Nice and Angers and have been threatened with a one-point deduction.