Ligue 1: Six Marseille supporters appear in court facing charges for violent incident at club's training centre in January

The six defendants, including Rachid Zeroual, 50, leader of the South Winners group, and Christophe Bourguignon, the 49-year-old head of the CU84 group, are being prosecuted for 'participation in a group formed to plan violence'.

Agence France-Presse March 22, 2021 22:04:00 IST
Ligue 1: Six Marseille supporters appear in court facing charges for violent incident at club's training centre in January

Representational image. AFP

Marseille: Six people, including the leaders of two hardcore Marseille fan groups, appeared in court Monday facing charges stemming from violent incidents outside the Ligue 1 club's training centre in January.

The six defendants, including Rachid Zeroual, 50, leader of the South Winners group, and Christophe Bourguignon, the 49-year-old head of the CU84 group, are being prosecuted for "participation in a group formed to plan violence".

Three are charged with damage and "violence with the use or threat of a weapon".

The accused also include the secretary of the South Winners, who is employed by the local council, a lorry driver and a deliveryman.

All six appeared in court in jeans and sweatshirts without any visible signs of their support for the club.

On 30 January, some 300 supporters, angered by a succession of disappointing results, massed outside the club's La Commanderie training centre to demand the departure of the club's then-president, Jacques-Henri Eyraud, who has since been ousted.

They threw fireworks and smoke bombs and some entered the centre, reaching the changing rooms.

Windows were also broken and cars damaged, said court official Nathalie Marty.

The club has estimated the damage was worth "at least 87,000 euros".

The defendants on Monday were arrested 10 days after the incidents.

This is the second case stemming from the incidents. In the first, 11 supporters arrested at the time of the protest received six-month suspended prison sentences, a 12th, already known to the courts for theft, was given a three-month suspended sentence while two were acquitted.

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