Police have launched an investigation after Paris St Germain’s players were confronted by angry supporters upon their return to the French capital on Wednesday following their 6-1 Champions League defeat in Barcelona, the Ligue 1 club has said.
The French champions went into the Round of 16 second leg tie with a 4-0 advantage from the first leg but the Spanish champions scored three goals in the last seven minutes to stage an incredible comeback and win 6-5 on aggregate.
Upon their return to Paris, the club alleges the travelling party were verbally abused and several vehicles damaged at Bourget Airport, while club staff, players and their families had to be escorted from the scene.
“On Wednesday night… the Paris St Germain players were confronted and threatened by several individuals at Bourget Airport,” PSG said on its website (www.psg.fr/en).
The club added that the crowd was “physically threatening the players and their families”.
“A police investigation is underway to establish exactly what happened… The Club strongly condemns the actions and behaviour of the individuals in question.”
Barcelona became the first team in Champions League history to overturn a four-goal deficit in a knockout tie, with the feat being hailed as the greatest ever comeback in the tournament.
Several PSG players apologised to fans in the wake of the defeat, which club president Nasser al Khelaifi described as a “nightmare”.
– Infantino hails Barcelona’s ‘incredible’ win –
Barcelona’s astonishing comeback win over Paris St Germain in the Champions League is a reminder of soccer’s enduring ability to surprise and rule changes should be handled with care, FIFA president Gianni Infantino said on Thursday.
After losing 4-0 in the first leg in France, Barcelona scored three times in the last seven minutes to win a thrilling last 16 home game 6-1 on Wednesday and march into the quarter-finals.
The feat was hailed as the greatest comeback in Champions League history.
“What you saw was an incredible match,” Infantino told reporters after a FIFA executive football summit near London’s Heathrow airport. “This shows that football is really a fantastic game.”
Barcelona were helped, to the fury of PSG fans, by a theatrical Luis Suarez tumble that was rewarded with a stoppage-time penalty for Barcelona’s fifth goal.
Video replays indicated the Uruguayan had made minimal contact with the defender.
“Whether that particular case was an injustice or not, we can leave it to the judgement of the referee at this stage,” said Infantino.
The game’s law-making body IFAB agreed to live trials of video assistant referees (VAR) last year, allowing match referees to consult a video official in four “game-changing” scenarios: when a goal has been scored, penalty decisions, sendings-off and mistaken identity.
Infantino, who has backed VAR, said Wednesday’s game highlighted the need for care – something he had discussed at dinner with senior English and Scottish officials.
“We were saying we have really to be careful in the IFAB if we want to touch the rules, because football is such an incredible game,” he said.
“Whenever you have the feeling you have seen everything, something else comes that you have never seen before.
“VAR will be there in future, hopefully, to correct, clear mistakes of the referee. In this case I don’t know whether it was a clear mistake or not. But in future when there are clear mistakes this will be corrected.”