Ligue 1 clubs Nantes and Nice have condemned offensive chants sung by a section of Nice fans who mocked the late Emiliano Sala in Wednesday’s 4-2 home win over St Etienne.
The Argentina striker, who spent four seasons at Nantes, died in a plane crash in January 2019 aged 28, days after signing for then-Premier League club Cardiff City.
Nantes, who beat Nice in the French Cup final on Saturday, said in a statement: “FC Nantes was horrified to discover the tenor of the songs of certain OGC Nice supporters and can only object to such actions that humiliate the memory of Emiliano Sala condemn the strongest.
“At the same time, FC Nantes would like to thank OGC Nice and its coach Christophe Galtier for their support and their strong condemnation of such statements.”
Nice said the behavior was not in line with their values and condemned the “unthinkable and pathetic provocation by a minority of their supporters”.
Usually, in the ninth minute, fans of Nantes and Bordeaux – two of Sala’s former clubs – applaud as it was the number of his shirt and chant: “He’s an Argentinian who never gives up, Emiliano Sala.”
“He’s an Argentine who can’t swim well, Emiliano underwater,” chanted some fans in the ninth minute of Wednesday’s game.
Kind manager Christophe Galtier also lashed out at the fans concerned, saying: “I have no words to describe what we heard.
“One of the first reactions in the dressing room was neither chanting nor shouts of joy nor relief (after we won the game 4-2). It should be talked about what the players had heard.
“On behalf of my dressing room, my technical and medical staff and the players, we would like to apologize to the family of Emiliano Sala and Nantes.
“You hear a lot of things in stadiums, but these people – and it wasn’t just three – if they’re not happy they can come onto the training pitch and I’ll tell them the same thing.
“We often say that what we see in stadiums is a reflection of society. If this is our society, we’re really screwed.
“It’s surreal to me. I have no words. You have to stay at home. You can’t hear that in a stadium. If they come to insult the dead, they can stay home.”
https://www.independent.ie/sport/soccer/if-thats-what-our-society-is-we-are-really-in-the-s-nice-boss-condemns-clubs-fans-over-sala-chant-41642793.html ‘If this is our society then we’re really in the shit’ – Nice boss condemns club’s fans over sala singing