Fan ‘critically injured after 5m fall’ as horror fight delays Cologne vs Nice and star begs supporters to break it up
A COLOGNE fan is in a serious condition after being injured in a five metre fall following clashes with Nice supporters.
Cologne’s Europa League group D match against Nice was delayed by 55 minutes and kicked off at 6:40pm.
The violence erupted after both sets of fans decided to walk across the upper tier to confront one another, with police trying in vain to keep them split.
Both sets of supporters began throwing missiles including flares and two fans are now in a serious condition, report RMC Sport.
One of those supporters fell from the upper tier and received immediate medical attention.
Local authorities said a man was in critical care with head and chest injuries after falling off a stand and 17 others were injured.
French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera said: “I’m fed up, I’m really fed up that our sport is being sullied in this way, that we can no longer say that we are going to a stadium with our children in a serene and secure manner.”
Police used tear gas to separate the fans as Nice star Dante and Cologne captain Jonas Hector pleaded for the violence to stop from the pitch.
In an announcement Hector said: “We’re really keen to play the game with you. We also want the game to happen. But we have to say that we don’t approve of this – we don’t like to see it at all.
“We worked our ass off on this last year and in the playoff games. And we would love to do that with you, and that’s why I’m asking you: keep your nerve, stay calm, support us as best you can.
“That’s what the club wants too. That we stand together and in peace just celebrate football and not violence. Thank you.”
Cologne issued an apology to peaceful fans caught up in the clashes and condemned the violence.
A statement from the German club reads: “Unfortunately, the kick-off of the game was delayed due to violent riots between people from both fan camps in the stadium and in the stands.
“We are currently discussing the background. The Uefa security meeting is currently taking place.
“Cologne condemns every form of violence. We stand for fair sporting dealings and respectful behavior.
“We are very sorry for all peaceful fans who have made today a Cologne football festival.”
The match ended in a 1-1 draw.
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