Marseille’s crowd problems explained as another match is marred by fan violence

Another Marseille game was once again marred by crowd troubles on Thursday evening.

Play had to be stopped at the Stade Velodrome for almost ten minutes as Marseille and Galatasaray fans threw flares at each other during the clash.

However, Thursday nights delay is the latest in a string of high-profile incidents at the Stade Velodrome.

Marseille is France's largest city, outside of Paris, and it's no surprise that it houses one of the most successful sides in French Football.

But with its giant status has come fanatical support, and some supporters have overshadowed Les Olympiens on the pitch in recent years.

Thursday evenings high-intensity clash quickly spilt into the stands.

And referee Pawel Raczkowski had no choice but to call a halt to proceedings after flares were tossed between the two sets of supporters.

Riot police were called in to calm the two sets of supporters, and tensions finally declined enough for the game to be restarted.

The Europa League fixture ended goalless.

Should UEFA punish Marseille for last nights incidents? Let us know in the comments section

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However, for the onlooking Marseille players, it's not the first time they've witnessed crowd troubles this season.

The most notorious of such incidents happened during a Ligue 1 clash with Nice last month.

Former West Ham star Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle, thrown from the Nice end, and the Frenchman promptly threw the bottle back into the irate crowd.

Nice fans stormed onto the pitch, and Pablo Fernandez, Marseille's physio, was banned for the season after throwing punches in the direction of the Nice players.

A couple of weeks later it was the Marseille fans who stormed the pitch after reports that Angers fans had been firing firecrackers towards the home side.

However, most shockingly, last January, four Marseille fans were jailed on charges stemming from an incident at Marseille's training ground.

Marseille ultras threw fireworks and smoke bombs at the training facilities.

The ultra groups were demanding the departure of the club’s then-president, Jacques-Henri Eyraud.

Crowd troubles are nothing new in Marseille and a 1995 Coupe de France semi-final between PSG and the port team saw nine policemen hospitalised as a record 146 arrests were made.

PSG and Marseille clashes, known as Le Classique, have seen away supporters banned on numerous occasions.

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