Incidents at OM: up to 1 year company for “executives” of support groups

The essentials Several Olympique de Marseille supporters were convicted of the incidents at the club’s training center in late January. Prison sentences were imposed.

Four leaders of Olympique de Marseille support groups were sentenced to up to one year in prison on Monday for responsibility for the events at the club’s training center in late January.

“In this case, evidence of an organization for humiliation and violence has been reported,” assured the President of the Penitentiary Court of Marseille, Nathalie Marty, who declared the harshest sentence against the treasurer of Marseille to be too powerful (MTP).

The young man, who had been convicted of similar facts in the past, was arrested with smoke bombs in the Commanderie, the OM training center. He has not been detained but has to wear an electronic wristband at home.

Also read: Scene of chaos and violence, the anger of the OM supporters is urging the game against Rennes to be postponed

Rachid Zeroual and Christophe Bourguignon, chairman of the South Winners and president of Ultras, two other fan clubs, were sentenced to nine months in prison, five of which were suspended as requested by prosecutors. “I’m the Bête Noire, they’re trying to give up on us, but I can’t blame myself, I didn’t join the Commandery”, Rachid Zeroual was furious at the end of the hearing and helped on crutches because of illness.

The last sentence, suspended for ten months, was pronounced against the secretary responsible for communicating the winners, who was filmed with vehement gestures by the cameras installed near the club’s training center.

Prosecutor André Ribes had requested the same verdict on the MTP’s “capo”, but the one who admitted to the criminal court that he “played the idiot” was eventually released, as was the sixth support on the defendants’ bench.

Also read: Incidents in the OM training center: five other people in custody in Marseille

300 angry supporters

On January 30th, around 300 supporters, fueled by a series of disappointing sporting results, gathered at the gates of the Commanderie, in particular to call for the departure of the club’s president, Jacques-Henri Eyraud, who has since been ousted. Fireworks, fireworks and smoke had been shot into the enclosure and some of the supporters had entered the center as far as the locker rooms. Windows were broken and cars were damaged, the president recalled.

“We have the supporters that we have”.

“Acts of violence to convey his ideas are not possible,” said the prosecutor. “If the door is closed, stay outside,” he insisted on his charge.

During the debates, Rachid Zeroual defended himself against wanting to turn his support group into a “gang”. Rachid Zeroual, who was convicted of “aggravated violence in a meeting” 11 years ago, denied having aroused the anger of supporters and, on the contrary, assured that during a meeting he “insisted” that it be done peacefully should”.

The fifty-year-old spoke of a “Covid effect” and the ban on trailers in stadiums for health reasons as an explanation for the violence and blew up “the closing of the gates” of the training center: “Everything was organized so it is overflowing,” he denounced and assured him that the club officials were informed about the arrival of the fans, which OM attorney Olivier Grimaldi confirmed.

Christophe Bourguignon, the president of the Ultras, who admitted being in front of the Commanderie but denied going inside, had tried to minimize his role. President? “It’s fair on paper,” said the 49-year-old, who had an “Ultra” tattoo on his neck. “The Commandery does not belong to them,” Me Grimaldi had insulted: “OM cannot live without its supporters, but OM does not have the ability to choose its supporters. We are in Marseille, we have the supporters we have,” he said repented.

On February 24, the first eleven supporters arrested at the time of the facts were sentenced to six months probation and a twelfth, known to the courts for theft, was sentenced to three months in prison. Two acquittals were also pronounced.