FC Nantes supporters at the Beaujoire stadium, here the Océane stand.

FC Nantes supporters at the Beaujoire stadium, here the Océane stand. — F.Brenon/20Minutes
  • A 39-year-old man was rescued on Friday evening, at the Beaujoire stadium, after a heart attack in the stands during FC Nantes-OM.
  • He had been taken to task by some Nantes supporters for having expressed his support for Olympique de Marseille.
  • Both clubs condemn the actions of the attackers.

The drama was narrowly avoided on Friday evening in the stands of the Beaujoire stadium in Nantes. The story, told by Press-Ocean, is told on X (ex-Twitter) by several witnesses. A family from Loire-Atlantique sat in the Océane stand to watch the Ligue 1 match between FC Nantes and Olympique de Marseille. The 6-year-old son, who was going to a big stadium for the first time, was wearing the jersey of OM, the team he supports. Celebrated by the child, the opening of the Marseille score from the 4th minute triggered the anger of a small group of Nantes supporters installed a few meters away in the Loire stand, yet separated by a grid.

The following ? “Spitting, insults, beers thrown in the face…”, says Alicia Mahé, the mother. The 39-year-old father of the family tried to intervene before feeling unwell and collapsing, victim of a heart attack just before half-time. Taken care of by the rescuers, he was hospitalized in intensive care at the Nantes University Hospital.

Yesterday was my 6 year old son’s first game at La Beaujoire and not everything went well. Our fault: being an OM supporter and letting him wear his jersey for the match.
We were attacked during the match: spitting, insults, beers thrown in the face…

— Alicia Mahé (@AliciaMahe) September 2, 2023

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Passive stewards?

“My husband, wanting to defend his family, had a heart attack in the gallery. And there again some idiots had no respect: selfies in front of the ambulance, insults again… ”, was moved Alicia. Still on X, Pierre Hamon, sports journalist and witness close to the scene, reports his “disgust” faced with the violence of a “handful of fools”.

He also recounts the “inaction” of the stewards present nearby. “Alert, the stewards did not react until they felt unwell. After the father’s evacuation, they blamed each other. “Thank you to the incompetent stewards who did nothing because it was not their platform”, also denounces the mother of the family.

My 6 year old son had his first match in a French stadium where his father almost died defending his family.

Thanks to the incompetent stewards who didn’t do anything because it wasn’t their grandstand!!

Thank you to the emergency physicians who saved my husband from 2 stoppages.#FCNOM

— Alicia Mahé (@AliciaMahe) September 2, 2023

Authors wanted

Solicited by 20 Minutesthe FC Nantes “Condemns in the strongest terms the unacceptable violence”. “The club seeks to get in touch with the family to ensure its greatest solidarity. The video surveillance images are being analyzed, a complaint will be filed on Monday, ”specifies the club. Olympique de Marseille “strongly condemns these intolerable actions”, also said the Provençal club. For its part, the Professional Football League has indicated that its disciplinary committee will take up the case.

These facts recall the attack on Kenzo, a young sick child OM supporter, and his family by Ajaccio fans during a Ligue 1 match at the François-Coty stadium. Three supporters of the Corsican club appeared before the Ajaccio court at the end of August for this attack. Judgment will be delivered on September 8.

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FC Nantes and Marseille drew (1-1) on Friday evening. More than 34,500 spectators attended the match.