The upcoming Coupe de France Final will feature spiked fences protecting the pitch inside the stadium. French police requested the fences be erected in order to prevent a pitch invasion by fans. Along with the fences, 3,000 additional police are to be drafted in for the game. Nantes play Toulouse for the trophy on Saturday evening at the Stade de France.

A statement by police claims that they asked the French Football Federation (FFF) to build the fence for “security reasons.” Nantes fans stormed the pitch following their semi-final victory over Olympique Lyonnais earlier in the month. However, this pitch invasion was not hostile in nature.

French police worry over President Macron’s safety

Protests aimed at President Macron are a particular point of concern for French police. Macron infuriated many inside his own country when he created a plan to increase the official retirement age to 64. Following the move, protests have essentially followed Macron throughout the nation. As president, he will attend at the Coupe de France Final on Saturday.

The FFF has made some changes to their typical postgame schedule because of these protests. France’s president typically hands out the trophy on the pitch to the cup winners. However, Macron will apparently not enter the field to shake hands with the two teams before the game nor congratulate the winning team afterwards.

Liverpool fan group voice concerns over fencing

While making adjustments to Macon’s postgame appearance may be the correct call, many fans around the world are not happy about the inclusion of the spiked fences. Liverpool’s Association of Disabled Supporters have specifically raised issues with the decision.

The Premier League club previously suffered serious loss during the Hillsborough disaster 34 years ago. Crushing against perimeter fencing inside the ground led to the death of 97 Liverpool fans. This forced significant structural change to football stadia in the United Kingdom, with fences such as these prohibited.

Nantes are looking for their second consecutive success in the competition after beating Nice in last year’s final. Toulouse, on the other hand, are on the quest for their first ever cup title. FOX Soccer Plus and Fubo are broadcasting the match in the United States.

Photo credit: IMAGO / ZUMA Wire