The Europa League match between Villarreal and OM scheduled for Thursday at 6:45 p.m. was classified as high risk by the Spanish authorities, which prompted the city’s mayor to close several schools in the afternoon, the ” best solution” according to him.

Around 1,200 Marseille supporters are expected on Thursday at Villarreal for this round of 16 second leg of the Europa League. In the first leg, OM won 4-0.

As of Wednesday, several Spanish media announced that the city’s mayor had decided to anticipate the closure of six schools in the city at 3 p.m.

“We were informed by a commission of the Ministry of the Interior of the Spanish government that the match was classified as high risk, with a tripling of the police force deployed,” explained José Benlloch Fernandez, mayor of Villarreal, to three French media including the AFP.

“We are a small town and around the Stade de la Céramique, there are three schools and three nurseries which are a few hundred meters away. The OM supporters will arrive, escorted, at the time when the parents come to pick up the children,” he added, referring to “17 supporters’ buses”.

“This can create security problems and we thought the best solution was to suspend classes from 3 p.m., so that people can enjoy a great day of sport in peace,” he added.

“We live in a small town, with a first division club which makes us proud and a stadium which can accommodate half the population, that is to say 24,000 people in a town of 51,000 inhabitants,” he said. -he also explained.

“I am convinced that if the match had been at 9 p.m., without impact on the schoolchildren’s outing, things would have been different. We don’t want to stigmatize anyone, the schedule is simply very complicated. It was the wisest decision,” he concluded.

After the lighting of several smoke bombs in the previous round against Shakhtar Donetsk, Marseille supporters are under threat of a travel ban from UEFA in the event of a recurrence.