Paris Saint-Germain will wear shirts with the words ‘Je suis Paris’ for their first home game since the terror attacks on Saturday as Ligue 1 is played without away supporters for a second successive weekend.
The three-time reigning French champions face rock-bottom Troyes in their first game at the Parc des Princes since three suicide bombers blew themselves up outside the Stade de France on November 13, with 130 people in total killed in a series of attacks on the French capital.
It will be the second time they wear the ‘Je suis Paris’ shirts after Wednesday’s Champions League game against Malmo when they strolled into the last 16 with a 5-0 rout of their Group A rivals in Sweden.
As well as the lack of away fans, security will be beefed up with spectators required to present identity papers and banned from carrying bags into the grounds with the security perimeter outside the Paris stadium extended.
Similar security measures were also planned for Thursday’s Europa League clash between Marseille and Dutch side Groningen in the Stade Vélodrome.
The French football league (LFP) confirmed Thursday that the subsequent three rounds of Ligue 1 games and the next two rounds of Ligue 2 fixtures will be played without away fans with the ban to be extended to European Champions League and Europa League games playing in France until December 10.
— Lack of police —
The decision was taken because of lack of available police with France in a state of emergency after the attacks, and with the COP21 climate change conference taking place in the French capital from November 30 to December 11.
“Given the current circumstances, the travel ban of supporters will be maintained, because of the rationalisation of security measures, as it is obvious that the police have other things to do now than accompany the fans,” French Minister of State forSports Thierry Braillard said.
Travelling fans will not be able to attend games until December 18-20, the final weekend before the Christmas break.
PSG will be overwhelming favourites to maintain their unbeaten Ligue 1 run against Troyes who by contrast have failed to win a game with just five points after 14 games.
Troyes defender Jonathan Martins Pereira admitted the odds were stacked against the side from 150km southeast of Paris, not only because they will be without their fans.
But he warned: “Even if we only have a five-percent chance, we’ll give it everything we have to try and pull off a shock.
“We’ll go to Parc des Princes to stand up to Paris Saint-Germain. And why? There are so many surprises in football … “
In the weekend’s early match on Friday, Lyon, sitting second 13 points behind PSG, face Montpellier badly in need of a quick fix after being bundled out of the Champions League by Gent in midweek.
The Belgian visitors’ 2-1 win in the last European game to be played at the Stade de Gerland put an end to Lyon’s hopes of reaching the last 16 in what has been a miserable continental campaign.
Caen, equal on points with Lyon but behind on goal difference, travel to Bordeaux on Sunday looking to make up for last week’s disappointing 0-0 draw at home against Angers, as Nice a point behind the Normandy side, travel to Toulouse on Saturday.
Monaco, in sixth place, host fellow southerners Marseille on Sunday.
Fixtures (all times GMT)
Lyon v Montpellier
Saturday (19:00 GMT unless stated)
Paris Saint-Germain v Troyes (16:00), Angers v Lille, Nantes v Bastia, Ajaccio v Lorient, Reims v Rennes, Toulouse v Nice
St Etienne v Guingamp (13:00), Bordeaux v Caen (14:00), Marseille v Monaco (20:00)
– Agence France-Presse