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Marseille fan charged with attempted murder for firing distress rocket

A supporter of French football club Marseille was on Friday charged with attempted murder for firing a distress rocket which seriously injured a German fan during a Champions League game last month.

The 26-year-old man admitted “being the author of the projectile shot towards the visitors’ parking lot” during the match against Eintracht Frankfurt in the southern French port city on September 13, local prosecutors said.

On Friday, the accused was released by the judge, a decision which French prosecutors have appealed.

The victim, a 65-year-old man, was shot in the neck, while his friend, aged 64, was burned on one hand trying to brush away the smoke.

He needed hospital treatment after the incident and he is expected to need four months off work.

The game, which Marseille lost 1-0, was marred by incidents with 17 people arrested. 

Smoke bombs were fired from the visitors’ parking lot where more than 3,000 German supporters were gathered, with Marseille fans also launching projectiles and fireworks. 

According to a press release from the Marseille public prosecutor’s office, the German supporter was hit by a distress rocket launched from “the bottom of the north curve” of the Velodrome Stadium.

During the match, German supporters also gave Nazi salutes in the visitors’ stand.

Marseille were sanctioned by UEFA with a match behind closed doors for their Champions League match against Sporting Lisbon.

Frankfurt and Marseille play the second leg of their Group D match in Germany next Wednesday.


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