Williams blasts 'mind-blowing' decision to allow fans to follow PSG Women after chaos which saw drugs and weapons seized before kick off

Yahoo Sport UK

Knives, knuckledusters and class A drugs stole the headlines as Paris Saint-Germain fans travelled to London on Thursday.

Chelsea saw off their Parisian counterparts 2-0 at Kingsmeadow in the first leg of the Women’s Champions League quarter-final thanks to late goals from Hannah Blundell and Erin Cuthbert.

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Up to 50 travelling PSG ultras were denied entry and had weapons and drugs seized after police responded to reports of vandalism from 8am.

The fans had reportedly been banned from following PSG’s men’s sides – including youth teams.

READ MORE: PSG question claims of fans carrying weapons

And England footballer Fara Williams told Yahoo Sport’s The Football Show it ‘blew her mind’ that the fans were still allowed to follow the women’s team.

“You want to be under one umbrella at a club,” the 35-year-old World Cup hopeful said. “If you represent a club and the badge, whether you’re male or female you should represent the same thing.

“It does blow my mind a little bit that they are just able to go and watch the women’s game. If they know they are a danger to the players, I don’t understand why they would be allowed to go and watch female footballers.

“I don’t see us as anything different to the youth players or the senior men’s team. I think that should have been stopped from any PSG game – be it male or female.

“I’m just glad that the players are safe. I’m glad that it was dealt with before the game and the game was able to go ahead.”

Meanwhile, Chelsea Women’s manager Emma Hayes believes fans should not be deterred from attending the away match.

Despite the incident, which led to one arrest, Hayes believes Chelsea fans will be protected in Paris.

“We have to remember that the women’s game is progressing, that fans are following, and with that comes the same level of scrutiny, and ultimately they have to behave, whether it’s our fans or their fans. The police dealt with it in the right way,” she told BBC Sport.

“The police took care of what they had to, and I expect that the organisation and preparation for that will make sure that our fans are safe. I don’t think we should discourage anyone from going.”

“Weapons, including knives and knuckledusters, were recovered along with class A drugs,” said a Metropolitan Police statement.
READ MORE: Emma Hayes hails ‘watershed moment’ for women’s football with sponsorship deal
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Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain met in the Women’s Champions League on Thursday
Chelsea and Paris Saint-Germain met in the Women’s Champions League on Thursday

With a good lead to take into the away leg, the Blues face PSG at the Stade Jean Bouin next Wednesday.

“We were controlled, composed and experienced. It was a tactical game. It was cagey but we produced the quality in the right moments,” added Hayes.

“We’re always progressing, and this team is much further ahead than it was 12 months ago, regardless of our league position.

“I wouldn’t say we’re comfortable. That (the second leg) is going to be a 10-15,000-strong, packed crowd, and I expect it will be quite hostile, and we’re going to go through difficult moments.”

The French club, however, have expressed their “fullest support” to fans who travelled to the Champions League match.

“We repeat that the local authorities have not provided any evidence of wrongdoing, at least no fact available justifies such a ban to attend the match,” the PSG club statement read.

“All of our supporters have been searched, and if any of these searches or facts had been under criminal law, we can imagine that the concerned supporter(s) would not have been able to leave British territory without being disturbed.

“Surprisingly, we note that Chelsea, on the morning of the match, did not want the presence of our supporters, arguing of alleged damage to the stadium which is, according to local testimonies, prior to the arrival of our fans in London.

“We express our fullest support to fans of Paris St Germain who, in the middle of the week, had arranged their schedule to come support our women’s team and we count on their fervour during the return match next Wednesday in Paris.”

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