PSG supporter out of coma

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The Independent Online
A Paris Saint-Germain fan who received serious head injuries during fighting at Tuesday's French Cup semi-final regained consciousness yesterday after spending the night in a coma.

Medical staff had been concerned about the condition of the fan, injured in disturbances at the tie against Marseille at the Parc des Princes, but added that his life was no longer in danger.

Police named the man as 22-year-old Olivier Malhomme from Yvelines, near Paris, and said he was hurt in a clash among Paris fans leaving the stadium.

Police arrested 146 people after trouble broke out before and after the match between rival supporters. Five police were injured, two of whom were detained overnight in hospital.

A police spokesman said five fans were being detained pending charges but the rest had been released. The most serious incidents took place an hour before kick-off when Paris supporters pelted coaches carrying Marseille fans with missiles.

More than 3,000 Marseille fans travelled to the capital and some 1,300 riot police were on duty for the match, won 2-0 by Paris Saint-Germain.

Meanwhile Marseille city authorities are to set up a semi-public, semi- private company to save their club, which went into receivership last week with debts of Ffr250m (£32m). Marseille's mayor, Robert Vigouroux, said the city would put up the first Ffr40m (£5.1m) and the other half is to come from private funding.

Marseille, who in 1993 became the first French club to win the European Cup, were demoted to the French Second Division last season because of financial irregularities. Yesterday's developments do not change Marseille's footballing future. Last week's bankruptcy ruling means they cannot now win promotion to the First Division and they need to finish in the top three to avoid being demoted to non-League football.

Bernard Tapie, the former club president who has also been declared bankrupt, said the 1993 match-fixing scandal involving Valenciennes ruined the club. He said suspension from the European Cup had cost the club Ffr150m (£19m). A Valenciennes court will pass sentence into the match-fixing scandal on 15 May. Tapie faces six months in jail.

Milan and Genoa yesterday lost their appeal against the two-game closure of their stadiums, imposed after clashes in January led to the death of a fan. The clubs must play the games at least 100 kilometres from home and they have been fined 50m lire (£18,000).

Milan will have to move from the San Siro for the game with Torino on 23 April and again when they play Foggia on 7 May. A club spokesman said Milan would probably play at Reggiana's stadium in Reggio Emilia.

Relegation-threatened Genoa will lose home advantage for the derby with Sampdoria on 30 April and their meeting with the league leaders Juventus on 14 May. It has not been confirmed where the games will be played.

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