PSG hardcore ‘ultras’ to boycott games amid dispute with club

PSG's fans lit flares during the French League One soccer match between Paris Saint-Germain and Marseille at the Parc des Princes in Paris, Sunday, Oct. 16, 2022. (Thibault Camus/AP)

PARIS — The hardcore “ultra” fans of Paris Saint-Germain plan to boycott the team’s matches until further notice amid growing tensions with the club’s direction.

The Collectif Ultras Paris said Wednesday that the move covers not only the men’s team but also the women’s side and the handball squad.

“The latest events and the state of our common relationship with the management lead us to believe that this is the best and only solution likely to preserve a common future,” the group of diehard supporters said in a statement following an unfruitful meeting with club officials.

PSG, seeking an 11th French league title, has four games remaining this season including two at the Parc des Princes stadium. It leads second-place Lens by six points.

The Qatari-backed club’s failure to win the Champions League despite the massive investment to recruit the game’s biggest stars has contributed to the deterioration of the relationship with the ultras.

Some of the fans protested recently outside Brazil international Neymar’s residence outside Paris — a move that coach Christophe Galtier condemned as “out of control and dangerous.” They’ve also taken out their frustration on Lionel Messi, whose time in Paris is likely to end, by jeering the World Cup champion.

The Collectif Ultras Paris, which is largely responsible for the lively atmosphere at the Parc des Princes, is at odds with club president Nasser Al-Khelaifi, arguing that he refuses to listen to their demands. In addition, the group is opposed to PSG’s bid to buy the Stade de France in the suburb of Saint-Denis for its home matches.

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