Nice-OM incidents: Were other sanctions possible?

A decision that inevitably makes people react. The disciplinary committee of the Professional Football League (LFP) handed down its sanctions on Wednesday evening after the interruption of the match between Nice and OM on August 22. The committee decided to replay the match on neutral ground and behind closed doors. OGC Nice has been given a point of suspension in the standings, and will have to serve one last match behind closed doors. On the side of Olympique de Marseille, Alvaro Gonzalez received two suspension matches, one suspended for Dimitri Payet and Pablo Fernandez, the club’s physical trainer, was suspended until the end of the season.

20 minutes takes stock of the penalties imposed, the case law related to this type of incident in Ligue 1 and the possibilities of appeal of the two clubs.

Could the LFP have done otherwise?

A five-hour marathon session and no less than an hour and a half of deliberation for this match between Nice and OM, which will never have gone after 90 minutes, but will have toured the televisions well at – beyond our borders. A relocation to a Parisian hotel for lack of space in the League and “very severe” sanctions, according to Sébastien Deneux, the chairman of the disciplinary committee. “What was essential for us is the degree of importance of the incidents, which constitutes an extremely high level of disorder, almost unprecedented, and which should lead the commission to enter a zone of sanctions which is itself even, very severe and very high, ”he recalled.

Vincent Duluc estimates in his editorial of the day in the team “That football France had to be told that what had happened was unacceptable and should never happen again. The disciplinary committee preferred to make it known that it fairly understood the victims and the perpetrators. She sought a vaguely popular verdict ”.

What reactions from the clubs?

Strategy diametrically opposed between the two clubs affected by these sanctions. Contacted by 20 Minutes, the Riviera club did not wish to react to the decisions of the disciplinary committee of the LFP, while Olympique de Marseille “regretted that any invasion of the field affecting the safety and health of the players does not is not sanctioned immediately with more firmness ”.

For Pablo Longoria, “the football authorities had the historic opportunity to set an example by making an impression”, but “these sanctions do not seem to take into account the deleterious climate that surrounded this meeting during which their security was no longer possible. ‘was not assured, which was nevertheless recognized during the hearings ”. He also believes that punishing themselves with violence, seems to me to be an easy solution, ”referring to the two suspension matches of Alvaro Gonzalez and the suspended match of Dimitri Payet.

The club’s communications director, Jacques Cardoze, spoke earlier on this subject. “We are extremely shocked by the sanctions that have been taken against Alvaro and even Payet”, he initially reacted to AFP. “We have the impression that we needed a scapegoat on the OM side and that it was he who took the lead. It is violence that must be condemned, not the players in the game, ”he added concerning the sanctions against his players.

What does the case law say?

Jacques Cardoze relies on case law, but only two of the examples cited are correct. There is a nuance for the third. The Nantes-Toulouse match was indeed interrupted in the 87th minute in 2007 when the score was 0-0. The match was lost 3-0 by FC Nantes on a green carpet for the invasion of the lawn by its supporters. The Bastia-Lyon match in 2017 was also interrupted after a general fight between Bastia supporters, who came on the lawn, and Lyon players. Bastia had lost this match 3-0 on the green carpet, and was given a penalty of two matches on neutral ground.

The 2016 Metz-Lyon match was interrupted in the 30th minute after firecrackers were thrown at Lyonnais goalkeeper Anthony Lopes as FCM had just opened the scoring. The disciplinary committee decided to replay this match behind closed doors on April 5, 2017 and the match was won 3-0 by OL. Contrary to what Jacques Cardoze asserts, it is not on the green carpet that Lyon won, even if the score of 3-0 may suggest it. A decision close to that rendered Wednesday evening by the disciplinary committee for this Nice-OM match.

Are the sanctions subject to appeal?

According to our information, Olympique de Marseille is awaiting the written motivations of the LFP disciplinary committee, which should be communicated to them next week, before making a decision on a possible appeal.

The decision of the disciplinary committee may be appealed to the Superior Appeal Commission of the French Football Federation, but this appeal is not suspensive. This was the case for the match between Sporting and OL, after the appeal of the Corsican club, but the higher appeal committee of the FFF had confirmed the sanctions imposed by the disciplinary committee. It is not uncommon for it to harden them.

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