An appeal to the solidarity of ultras…
On 13 May 2011, our club, Racing Club de Strasbourg, was playing one of its last matches of the season in Rouen and trying to get promoted to the second division.
Throughout the match, we were subjected to the aggression of the Rouen stewards, so much so that at the end of the match, when we approached the fence to congratulate our players, they did not hesitate to pounce on a supporter who had climbed the fence to celebrate the victory.
Our friend was attacked by several stewards. In order to try to help him, I pushed one of his attackers, and a single punch was thrown.
My reaction was only a response to their aggression, but I am a football supporter so in the eyes of the law, I have to take all of the blame and have been severely punished as a result.
However, stewards were seen with a knife, a teargas grenade, a telescopic baton, and that’s not all! A dog handler removed his dog’s muzzle, and another steward had the presence of mind to… remove his yellow jacket so that he would not be recognised!
The local newspapers testified to the violence of the stewards in their editions after the match:
Extract from L’Alsace:
The zealous Rouen stewards
Incidents took place before the match the day before yesterday in Rouen, between Racing supporters and some worked-up local youngsters who had come to provoke them, according to the version of events given by the president of the Normandy club himself to an RCS sponsor who was present at the match. A few inconsequential exchanges which only delayed the entry to the stadium of the hundred or so supporters from the Bas-Rhin.
However, some more aggressive skirmishes took places after the final whistle when the fans of the Bas-Rhin club, for the most part members of UB90, wanted to come down close to the fence where Laurent Fournier’s players had come to greet them and talk to them, as has been the case for several matches. The Rouen stewards, who blatantly do not hold degrees in elementary psychology, got it into their heads to move them. From the press box, we even saw one of them remove his distinctive yellow jacket to go and deliver a punch. Another made use of a telescopic baton.
The result: a broken nose and two black eyes for a steward, and a member of UB90 taken into custody. “Once more, we are regarded as the bad guys”, one Racing supporter testified, “when we only wanted to go and greet our players, as they deserved. Some of them, like Loïc Damour (a Strasbourg player) even asked the stewards to calm down. They were witnesses to what happened.” “Honestly, I don’t know how it started, but from what I saw, the stewards abused their power quite a lot and I tried to reason with them”, the international midfielder confirmed, “I wasn’t the only one. Several of the players did.”
Extract from Dernières Nouvelles d’Alsace:
At the end of the victory in the Robert-Diochon stadium, around fifty supporters wanted to approach the fence surrounding the pitch to congratulate their champions. The stewards – of which at least one abandoned his fluorescent jacket to do battle – showed a certain zealousness. At the end of the short skirmish, a Normandy nose was apparently broken. Nothing to be proud of, certainly, but nothing to make an affair of state out of either.
Unfortunately, the judgment is unequivocal and absolutely overwhelming:
ON THESE GROUNDS,
The Criminal Court, ruling on civil interests, publicly, in the presence of the parties involved and at first instance, with the judgment to be served on the state health insurance office of Haute-Normandie,
ORDERS XXXXXX to pay AAAAAA the sum of 24 076,54 euros in compensation for all of the harm caused by the crime, with the interim payments already paid to be deducted once proof of payment has been provided;
ORDERS XXXXXX to pay the state health insurance office of Haute-Normandie the sum of 62 785,27 euros in respect of its subrogatory claim;
ORDERS XXXXXX to pay BBBBBB the sum of 2 000 euros on the basis of Article 475-1 of the Criminal Procedure Code;
ORDERS XXXXXX to pay CCCCCC the sum of 1 000 euros in respect of the cost of the expert witness he had to pay for;
ORDERS XXXXXX to pay the state health insurance office of Haute-Normandie the sum of 1 028 euros in compensation for management fees;
REJECTS any larger or different demand;
DECLARES that the judgment is binding upon the state health insurance office of Haute-Normandie.
This judgment has been signed by the President and by the Clerk.
In other words, the total sum of 90 889,81 euros…
Therefore, I am appealing to the solidarity of ultras. I cannot say that I have been ruined financially as I do not have this money, but my life, on the other hand, has been ruined!
I am appealing to the solidarity of ultras because I am going to have to payer for one mistake, as big as it might have been, for the rest of my life. A mistake for which I would have received a different punishment had I not been a football supporter!
If you want to help me, you can contribute to the kitty. Whatever the amount, you have all my appreciation and all my gratitude.