Nice ultras clash with riot police ahead of the Coupe de France final

PARIS (AP) — There were minor clashes between riot police and Nice soccer club ultras outside a main train station ahead of the Coupe de France final on Saturday.

About 450 to 500 ultras from Nice, some wearing balaclavas, were gathered outside Gare de Lyon, where trains arrive in Paris from the southern city of Nice.

The group then began to wander rapidly through the streets outside the Gare de Lyon as the ringleaders shouted instructions on how to move. Dozens of riot police moved to intercept them and prevent possible clashes with Paris Saint-Germain hooligans who had already been in the same area.

There was a brief clash with Nice ultras and riot police on the long Avenue Daumesnil around 3 p.m. The ultras then returned to Gare de Lyon and were escorted by riot police to trains taking them to the Stade de France, where Nice later faced Nantes in the final.

Nice have a long-standing and bitter rivalry with PSG, and their hooligan elements – Nice’s Brigade Sud and PSG’s Kop Boulogne – have clashed heavily in the past.

Although away fans were banned from attending when they played each other, this rule did not apply to the cup final as it takes place on what is considered neutral ground.

Earlier on Saturday, a video showed a group of around 30 PSG hooligans running down the street to attack a smaller group sitting at the Aux Cadrans cafe outside Gare de Lyon. Chairs and bottles were thrown. The opposing group would be from Nancy, which has an affiliation with the Nice ultras.

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