It seems necessary to place a ban on the movement of certain fan groups from European competitions. It should have been done already. It is pitiful to ask for it, it is even more pathetic to need it; but it has to be done, and now. Of course we have to respect the rights of people to move, but there is no need to sell tickets to radicals who bring their own fury from wherever they've come from. And it can be done. In Spain it has already been done. There is a register of the members of the hardcore fan groups, which includes fingerprints. Anyone who causes trouble is prohibited from going into their own stadium, nor can they buy tickets to go to another ground. Where the club collaborates in this, it works, and almost all of them collaborate.
Dealing with the Marseille ultras
In Europe we have to do this, and one of the clubs to keep an eye on is Olympique Marseille, who in their knockout tie with Athletic showed how accommodating they are with their Ultras, something we remember from the not-too-distant past. Last night they were involved again in San Mamés, where they left a mark of the Europa League with two stabbed security guards, who are both happily out of danger to their lives. Watch out for France, whose two flagship clubs, PSG and Marseille, have shown a nasty measure in this round. In the case of Marseille, the worst thing is that they continue in the tournament. Now we have to be clear about who will deal with those hooligans that overshadowed San Mamés.
Ahead of the Champions League quarter-final draw, Real Madrid fans share their best and worst opponent pic.twitter.com/fGFSOqwbu1— AS English (@English_AS) 16 March 2018
Atlético the team to beat in the Europa
This plague, one that embitters us on the eve of the much anticipated Champions League draw, with Real Madrid, Barça and Seville all in the hat. I hope they don't cross paths at this stage. A poll undertaken by AS suggested that fans of all three Spanish sides would prefer to be drawn against Roma, which is expected. More striking was the fear of Real Madrid and Barça fans at the prospect of facing Juve, more so than City or Bayern. On the other hand, in the Europa League, I think there is little doubt: the team to beat is Atleti, who yesterday demolished the current leader of the Russian league, at home. They are a miss from the Champions League, but the Europa League can be a significant compensation for the season. Some good teams remain, but none like them.