Chelsea are expected to issue travel advice to Blues supporters heading to France for next week’s second leg of the Women’s Champions League match against Paris Saint-Germain.
The build-up to Thursday night’s quarter-final at Kingsmeadow saw a coach carrying about 50 PSG fans, who had travelled to London overnight, turned away from the ground.
The Metropolitan Police said “knives and knuckledusters” were recovered while one man was arrested for possession of class A drugs.
The 50 PSG ultras who arrived at Kingsmeadow at 8am have had their tickets confiscated and won’t be coming into this women’s match pic.twitter.com/PMSKifMkzw
— Nigel Adderley (@nadderley) March 21, 2019
There were also reports of vandalism and graffiti at the stadium during Thursday morning, as well as disorder later on at Waterloo and Wimbledon stations. Chelsea won the first leg 2-0.
PSG, though, issued a strongly-worded statement on Friday morning to offer “full support” to their fans who had made the journey.
The French club, Champions League finalists in 2015 and 2017, also criticised the handling of the situation.
PSG claimed no damage had been caused at the stadium by their supporters, saying: “The local authorities have not provided any evidence of wrongdoing.”
— #UWCL (@UWCL) March 21, 2019
PSG fan Sofiane Mihoub, who has lived in London for more than 15 years, attended Thursday’s match and told Press Association Sport the away supporters in the crowd of 2,616 “were very peaceful”.
Governing body UEFA confirmed on Friday afternoon that “no disciplinary proceedings have been opened” following the game.
The second leg will take place at Stade Jean-Bouin on March 27, which is home to rugby union club Stade Francais and across the road from Parc des Princes.
Chelsea will aim to make sure their fans’ experience in Paris is the safest it can be.
As with previous Women’s Champions League ties, for those intending to travel the club are offering complimentary tickets to the away leg, which can be applied for on the Chelsea website.
Following Thursday’s match, Chelsea manager Emma Hayes hoped the incident will not discourage the club’s supporters from travelling to France.
“We keep security matters under continual review,” a Chelsea club spokesman said to Press Association.
Goals from right-back Hannah Blundell and Scotland international Erin Cuthbert, who will be suspended for the second leg after a late booking, have given the Blues a platform to build on as they aim to finish the job and secure a semi-final place.
“We’ll approach the second leg with exactly the same vigour and quality we did the first leg,” Hayes said to Chelsea TV.
“They’re at home, they’ve got that advantage, but we’ve got the experience of being in this position and we must maximise that and stay concentrated.”