Nice fans condemned for ‘despicable’ Emiliano Sala chants: ‘They should be banned, it’s a disgrace’

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Former Nantes striker Emiliano Sala died in a plane crash in 2019  (AFP via Getty Images)
Former Nantes striker Emiliano Sala died in a plane crash in 2019 (AFP via Getty Images)

French club Nantes have condemned the behaviour of rival Nice fans after they sang derogatory chants about the late Emiliano Sala during a Ligue 1 game last night.

Former Nantes striker Sala died when the aircraft he was travelling in ahead of a proposed move to Cardiff City in January 2019 crashed into the English Channel.

Nice fans made reference to his death during a 4-2 win over St. Etienne on Wednesday evening.

"Nantes learned with terror about the chants made by certain Nice fans and can only firmly condemn behaviour that degrades the memory of Emiliano Sala," Nantes said in a statement on Thursday.

Sala was a firm favourite at the club, where he scored 48 goals in 133 games, and his No9 jersey was retired in tribute following his death. Nantes coach Antoine Kombouare also joined the criticism of the chants, claiming “human stupidity has no limit”.

“I'm outraged, these people have no place in a stadium,” he added. “They should be banned, it's a disgrace. I feel for his family."

Nice boss Christophe Galtier apologised on behalf of the club and said the perpetrators were not welcome at the ground.

"I have no adjectives to describe what I heard," he said. "We would like to offer our apologies to the family of Emiliano Sala and Nantes.

"We shouldn't be hearing that in a stadium. If they're coming to insult the dead, then they should stay home. People sometimes say that what we see inside a stadium is a reflection of society. If that's our society then it's really (expletive)."

In a statement, Nice said: “OGC Nice condemns in the strongest possible sense the chant about Emiliano Sala heard on Wednesday evening at the Allianz Riviera.

“The club does not recognise its values or those of the entire red and black family in this unthinkable and abject provocation by a minority of its supporters. OGC Nice sends its support to the family and friends of Emiliano Sala.”

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