Supervisor Elham AbolFateh
Editor in Chief Mohamed Wadie

Nantes Supporter Killed in Pre-Game Clash

Sun 03 Dec 2023 | 03:35 PM
By Ahmad El-Assasy

A Nantes supporter lost his life on Saturday in the aftermath of a brawl preceding the club's 1-0 triumph against Nice, marking the latest incident of violence tarnishing the current French soccer season.

Nantes, in an overnight statement, disclosed that the fan suffered fatal injuries in close proximity to the club's stadium. 

L’Equipe newspaper identified the victim as a member of Brigade Loire, Nantes' primary group of dedicated supporters.

"In circumstances under ongoing judicial investigation, the 31-year-old collapsed, struck in the back," the club's statement read. 

"Despite the intervention of emergency services, the fan could not be saved."

The eight-time French champions revealed that the public prosecutor’s office has initiated an investigation into voluntary manslaughter.

According to Nantes public prosecutor Renaud Gaudeul, the incident transpired shortly before 8 p.m. local time, with groups of Nantes supporters attacking several VTCs (private hire vehicles) transporting Nice fans to the match.

“The very first forensic investigations show that the victim had a wound on his back, possibly caused by a bladed weapon,” stated the prosecutor, as reported by French media.

Local newspaper Ouest France detailed that the suspected assailant initially fled the scene but later turned himself in at a police station. 

Gaudeul confirmed on Sunday that "a VTC driver" appeared at the Nantes police station and was taken into custody on charges, including voluntary manslaughter. 

The suspect, a 35-year-old man, is currently in police custody.

French Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra expressed her "great sorrow" in a message posted on X, the social network formerly known as Twitter.

The French league also extended condolences to the fan's family and the club in the wake of the tragic incident.