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Nantes FC Fan tragically dies in stabbing incident before Ligue 1 clash against Nice

A somber atmosphere envelops the football community as a Nantes FC fan loses their life in a stabbing incident preceding the Ligue 1 match against Nice. The tragic episode unfolded during clashes between rival fan groups, leading to swift emergency responses.

Football Nantes FC Fan tragically dies in stabbing incident before Ligue 1 clash against Nice osf
First Published Dec 3, 2023, 5:32 PM IST

A tragic incident unfolded as a fan of Ligue 1 club Nantes lost his life in a stabbing incident before the team's 1-0 victory over Nice, confirmed by the public prosecutor in the western French city on Sunday. The fatality occurred during an attack on several vehicles carrying Nice supporters by rival Nantes fans en route to the Beaujoire stadium before Saturday's match.

The 31-year-old victim collapsed and died on the spot despite swift intervention by emergency services. The prosecutor disclosed that the investigation is treating the case as "voluntary manslaughter" due to a wound in the back, possibly from a bladed weapon. The alleged attacker reportedly turned himself in later. FC Nantes expressed sorrow, extending condolences to the victim's family, as authorities conduct thorough witness interviews and investigations into the tragic incident. This tragedy adds to recent tensions and incidents surrounding Ligue 1 matches, highlighting the need for comprehensive examination and preventive measures in football fan environments.

"During these events, in circumstances which remain to be determined, a 31-year-old man, a supporter of FC Nantes, collapsed (and) died on the spot, despite the rapid intervention of emergency services," Nantes public prosecutor Renaud Gaudeul said.

The victim received "a wound in the back, which could correspond to a bladed weapon", the prosecutor explained, adding that an investigation for "voluntary manslaughter" had been opened. The supporter may have been stabbed by one of the vehicle drivers. The attacker turned himself in at a police station later in the evening, the daily Ouest France newspaper reported.

FC Nantes said they were "saddened" by the death, sending their condolences to the victim's family.

"Numerous witness interviews are underway and will continue into the night," the club said in a statement.

"The club can only deplore that a person lost their life in such circumstances."

French sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera sent her condolences in a post on social media, saying the investigation must "identify the exact circumstances of the events". The death comes against a backdrop of tensions and recent incidents on the sidelines of Ligue 1 matches.

The incidents led to the match being called off just as it was supposed to kick off and with 60,000 fans already in the grounds.

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