Coupet - It is only football
Gregory Coupet has attempted to ease the increasing tension ahead of the trip to Marseille next week.
Last Updated: 03/12/08 10:46am
Atletico Madrid shot-stopper Gregory Coupet has attempted to calm the increasing tension ahead of their UEFA Champions League trip to Marseille next week.
Authorities are set to be on high alert for the 9th December encounter at the Stade Velodrome following incidents in the previous meeting between the two sides in Spain in October.
During that match there were confrontations between Marseille fans and local police, and one visiting supporter is still detained in Spain and facing a possible eight-year prison sentence.
France international Coupet, who joined Atletico this summer after 16 years in his homeland playing for St Etienne and Lyon, said: "The match is important for both teams. Atletico Madrid and Marseille will both try to win the game.
"I'm sure the two sets of fans will be calm. It is a difficult situation, but on the pitch there are only 22 players. We must not forget it is only football.
"It's another match and I hope nothing happens. We in the dressing room do not usually talk about this subject, we have to focus on the game, and only on this."
"They have some very 'heated' supporters and I'm sure that they will be a little more fired up, but we hope nothing happens. The security personnel are there for this."
Atletico have already guaranteed their place in the next phase of the Champions League but are battling with Liverpool for top spot, while Marseille and PSV Eindhoven, who are both locked on three points, are looking to get into the Uefa Cup.