On a night marred by violence, FC Köln picked up a point against OGC Nice on Thursday evening as they returned to European football for the first time since 2017.
As reported by French news agency AFP, via Kicker, 32 people were injured as Nice and FC Köln fans clashed ahead of their Europa Conference League game on Thursday. This figure includes two police officers and a steward, which resulted in four hospitalised. One of the injured – a reported Parisian in the guest block – is in critical condition after falling from the middle tier.
Shocking images emerged. FC Köln captain Jonas Hector addressed the travelling support and called on them to “simply celebrate football in peace.” The Bundesliga side also tweeted that they condemn “any form of violence” as Köln stands for “fair sporting and respectful behaviour.”
Speaking prior to kick-off, FC Köln managing director Christian Keller said: “I am speechless. I don’t know what the right words are. We wanted to celebrate a big, peaceful footballing fest. Everything was set up for that.
“From Nice, it is the same case and isn’t more than a few dozen complete chaots. That word doesn’t do it justice. The words that come to mind are words I can’t say.
“I don’t know what these people are doing here and what they want. It only leads to football, FC Köln, OGC Nice and all the peaceful fans suffering.”
Over 650 police officers and 600 security guards were deployed.