"Just naked violence": Baumgart stunned after riots in Nice
In view of the fan riots in the run-up to the game between 1. FC Köln and OGC Nice, FC coach Steffen Baumgart is shocked. The 50-year-old experienced the riots in the stands up close and calls for a clear reappraisal.
1. FC Köln drew 1-1 at OGC Nice on their European return. In view of the violent riots in the run-up to the game, however, what happened on the pitch played only a minor role. Also Stephen Baumgart could hardly believe what had happened in the stands.
After his yellow-red card in the second leg of the play-off against Fehervar FC, Baumgart was forced to watch the game in Nice from the stands. The FC coach "owed it" to this circumstance that he was a direct witness of the riots which, according to the current state of knowledge, led to 32 injuries. The 50-year-old was deeply affected after the game (via table football).
"It was just naked violence. It's scary when you're relatively close. My family sat in the seats where they walked past. There's a lot going on in you," Baumgart gave an insight into his emotional world. He was an eyewitness that "a young man fell down the stands. You're just shocked. It will be with me for a very long time."
The young man is not, as initially assumed, an FC supporter, but a Parisian fan who was in the guest block.
The trainer had previously tried to prevent worse and to influence the violent supporters - in vain: "But nothing was possible. The guys who looked up looked through me. And then we went into the VIP room to protect yourself."
That in this dramatic situation on the part of the Uefa no exception was granted and he could not speak to his team, met with little understanding from the Cologne coach.
"That was rejected because of the yellow-red card, although it was a borderline situation," he said angrily. "You can see that some people are not ready to turn on their brains." Baumgart, on the other hand, expressly welcomed the decision against canceling the game: "If everyone had left the stadium with these short-term emotions, we don't know what would have happened."
Baumgart demands "clear processing"
The "anger and bewilderment" that not only the FC coach felt that evening must now lead to a "clear reappraisal", as Baumgart emphasized. The former Bundesliga professional didn't want to hear about blame, but still complained about the lack of safety precautions:
"One does wonder why the situation came about. Why weren't the sectors separated from each other? We as a club and also UEFA have Nice said that the security measures taken are not sufficient. And then you saw that. How is it possible that entrances can be entered just like that? It also started in front of the stadium. I think it could have been prevented if things had been handled properly. Enough people have pointed out that something like this can happen."
Regardless of whether the French hosts are actually responsible for the riots, FC must be prepared for a severe penalty. The billy goats are threatened with an away ban for their own fans and a ghost game in Müngersdorf. It is not yet clear when UEFA will announce the penalty.
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This article was originally published on 90min.com/de as "Just naked violence": Baumgart stunned after riots in Nice released.