On Thursday 23rd of November right outside the Parc des Princes a supporter of French Paris Saint Germain was shot to death by a police officer before a U.E.F.A. match between his team and Israeli Hapoel Tel Aviv. His name was Julien Quemener.
He supposedly was part of a mob of a couple of hundred people who were chasing a Parisienne Hapoel supporter shouting at him “Dirty jew” and other racist and anti semitist chants. Or at least that is what the press says. If you run a query on Google news, trying to understand what happened, you can find very authoritative news sources reporting contradictory facts about that night. The only thing which every newspaper agrees on is that Julien was part of a racist, violent and antisemitic mob.
Julien was part of the Boulogne Boys, a famous PSG fans mob. I have some small stadium experience and most of it has been among very racist people, even hailing the infamous Italian dictator Mussolini. For this reason I went digging on their website and on others related to it, in search of some evidence of their racism. I have found none. Boulogne Boys, according to my searches, appear to be as violent and racist as any other major European football mob. They certainly have some racists and violent elements, as in most big groups of football fans. They have a lot of coreographic power, as their photo gallery shows and I haven’t found any sign of racism or antisemitism among their words and images.
So I’ve started thinking. I’ve thought that French Presidential Elections are approaching very soon. I have also thought that Paris, and France in general, has many social problems, especially when it comes to relationships between different races and religions. I have also thought that it is quite easy killing a football supporter and let it seem as “we were trying to protect innocent people” “these football fans are thugs”. I have thought that there are a lot of people interested in keeping football fans away from the stadia to let them sign up for Sky or Canal + (less troubles, more money). And these are just general, maybe superficial thoughts. In the meanwhile a very young guy (he was 25 years old) is dead, and all because of a football match.