The worst possible news for PSG fans planning to make a trip to Marseille was confirmed Thursday: the French authorities have banned them from traveling to Marseille on Sunday ahead of the Classique against Olympique Marseille.
The Ligue 1, as it's done multiple times in the past and for 10-plus years in the case of the OM-PSG rivalry, is banning fans from attending a game on the road once more for this weekend's clash between Paris and Marseille.
There will be no PSG supporters on the stands of the Stade Velodrome as Parisian visitors have been straight banned from arriving in Marseille next Sunday in any capacity. The announcement was made on a decree from the Ministry of the Interior published on Thursday.
When both teams met back on Feb. 8 as part of the Coupe de France Round of 16, this was also the case with no PSG fans allowed to arrive in Marseille ahead of time and during the match day. It marked the first win over PSG by Olympique Marseille at the Velodrome in 10 years. What a coincidence!
No Parisian will be allowed inside the Stade Velodrome and nearby zones from midnight-to-midnight next Sunday
This decision is hardly surprising at this point, though. The French football and global authorities have dealt with violence-related issues for a long time. It's partially understandable to take precautionary measures... but it's hardly understandable to take those measures when there have been no issues for a while and the Ultras of PSG have made multiple attempts to defuse the situation by behaving in exemplary ways of late.
This Sunday, then, there will be a Classique as part of the 25th matchday of the Ligue 1 campaign, but that's only because of the names of the two teams playing at the Velodrome in Marseille more than because of the supporters of those two clubs going against each other (figuratively) from the stands.
Only five points separate PSG (first) from Marseille (runner-up) in the Ligue 1 standings. The police chief of Bouches-du-Rhone announced the ban by invoking the "rivalry" between supporters of OM and PSG having "resulted in the past and on a recurring basis in serious disturbances to public order." This led to the authorities blocking Parisians "to access the Stade Velodrome and its surroundings and the nearby districts" on Feb. 8, and the same will apply on Sunday, Feb. 26.
The official statement prohibits "on Sunday, Feb. 26, 2023, from midnight to midnight, the individual or collective travel, by any means, of any person claiming to be a supporter of Paris Saint-Germain or behaving as such, between the municipalities of the Ile-de-France region and the municipality of Marseille."