The banner, displayed at the premier league final between Paris Saint-Germain and Lens reads

"Paedophiles, unemployed and inbred: Welcome up north"

A group of Parisian football supporters responsible for a banner that accused their opponents of being "paedophiles and inbred" has been ordered to disband by the French interior minister.

The banner that lead to the dissolution, announced last Thursday, was aimed at Paris Saint-Germain's opponents Lens, a northern city from the industrial region inhabited by "Ch'tis", the term for the residents of this poor and underdeveloped area of France, the subject of recent film called "Bienvenue Chez Les Ch'tis" (roughly translating to "Welcome to the Sticks"), which is becoming the highest-grossing French film in history. Reading "Paedophiles, unemployed and inbred: Welcome to the Sticks", the banner was displayed at the premier league final, of which Sarkozy was in attendance. As well as disbanding the "Boulogne Boys" - who are considered one of the oldest hooligan groups in France - an inquiry into finding and punishing those responsible is underway. Here, members' (who wish to remain anonymous) reactions and a pick of other offensive messages displayed across the pitch.

The worst banners of the premier league

"Misinformation, sensationalism, anti-Parisianism. Welcome to the media!" PSG supporters after the banner affair.


"Le Havre, wart of Normandy."


"Recruiting whores. Send in your mothers' CVs."


"For peasants, follow the arrow." Against Sedan supporters.


PSG supporters wish good riddance to black player Weah who was leaving the club.


"Crap, inbred Saint Etienne people." Lyon supporters against Saint Etienne.


"Long live sodomisation." PSG supporters against Marseille.


"The hunt is on... Kill them!" Sainte Etienne supporters against Olympique Lyonnais.


"Le Havre, crap city."


"Ribery scares children." Nice supporters against scarred Marseille player Franck Ribéry.


"While we were inventing cinema your fathers were dying in the coalmines." From Lyon supporters to Saint Etienne fans.

"Once a Boulogne Boy, always a Boulogne Boy"

Cedric is a member of the Boulogne Boys.

Breaking up the Boys is ridiculous. Since the BB85 [Boulogne Boys] was created 23 years ago, our main objective was to support Paris Saint-Germain. Yeh, we're not always entirely politically correct, but is breaking up a group that gives the stands some structure a good idea? I seriously doubt it. It's also unfair that the whole group has to be broken up because of just a few members. This is the result of that banner. But it's not like it was an idea from those in charge. Everyone from the KOB [PSG supporters] will be mourning the oldest association of supporters in France...ognce a Boulogne Boy, always a Boulogne Boy."

"I could tell you of worse banners"

Alexis Tgelvelis wrote a dissertation called PSG supporters: spectators, extremists and hooligans.

This type of banner has been appearing at matches for a few years now. I could give you worse examples. I remember a PSG match against Bordeaux. The Girondins [Bordeaux supporters] wrote "We rob the Boys and rape the Girls". The Girls, who make up the female members of the Boulogne Boys, responded with "You'd need a hard-on for that".

This one against the Ch'tis is not that shocking. Just vulgar. You have to put it in context. It's not a demonstration or a Nazi meeting. It's a football match. But it made the headlines just to avoid more serious subjects. Football is used to hide real problems. I really wonder why the TV channels chose to make this their top story when the members of Zoe's Ark had just been let off. Especially as France 3 took care to hide it when the match was replayed. I really do wonder what the real reasons are behind all this buzz."

"I don't know who will keep things in order in the stands now"

Julien, 23, is a supporter of Paris Saint-Germain football club. He was in the Boulogne Boys stand at the match where the anti-Ch'tis banner was displayed.

I was in the Boulogne Boys area at the league final between PSG and Lens. I was sat a few rows behind the banner but I couldn't see it because there were so many people in the pen. I only found out about it the next day in the papers. Apparently it was the Boys who did it, but those in charge of the association didn't know. It's impossible for them to control the actions of all the members- there are hundreds!

It's true that they don't manage to stop every act, like this banner. But in getting rid of the Boulogne Boys the authorities are going to lose a controlling force and a mediator. The association doesn't just organise fun aspects of matches; it also has rules. To be part of the Boulogne Boys you have to follow them.

I've seen the people in charge of the Boys throw plenty of people out of matches for bad behaviour or being rude. Now I don't know who will keep things in order in the stands. With no association the members will become independent. That's just means more uncontrollable people."

"Lyonnais, Lyonnais, we're going to bugger you up"

PSG supporters outside the Lyon team's bus.

Posted by "potopsg49" 14 June 2004