French team Nice and manager Christophe Galtier condemned their own fans for sickening chanting about the tragic death of Emiliano Sala on Wednesday night.
Sala died in 2019 at the age of 28 when a plane carrying him over the English channel crashed while he was on his way to complete a £15m move from Nantes to Cardiff, when the Welsh side were in the Premier League.
‘He’s an Argentine who can’t swim well, Emiliano under water,’ chanted a number of fans during Nice’s 4-2 win over St Etienne in the ninth minute of Wednesday’s match.
Usually, Nantes and Bordeaux fans – two of Sala’s former clubs – applaud in the ninth minute as it was the number of his shirt and sing: ‘He’s an Argentine, who never gives up, Emiliano Sala.’
French team Nice slated their fans for a sickening chant about the death of Emiliano Sala
Sala died at 28 when his plane crashed in the English Channel when he was about to complete a move from French side Nantes to Premier League team Cardiff
Nice said in a statement: ‘Nice condemns in the strongest possible sense the chant about Emiliano Sala heard on Wednesday evening at the Allianz Riviera,’ the club said in a statement.
‘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.’
Nice manager Christophe Galtier also hit out at the fans in question, saying: ‘I have no words to describe what we heard.
‘One of the first reactions in the dressing room was not chanting or cries of joy, or relief (after winning the game 4-2). It was to speak about what the players had heard.
‘In the name of my dressing room, of my technical and medical staff, from the players, we would like to offer our apologies to Emiliano Sala’s family and to Nantes.
‘You hear a lot of things in stadiums, but these people – and there weren’t just three of them – if they’re not happy, they can come to the training ground and I’ll say the same thing to them.
‘We often say that what we see in stadiums is a reflection of society. If that’s what our society is, we are really in the s***.
‘It’s surreal for me. I have no words. They need to stay at home. You cannot hear that in a stadium. If they’re coming to insult the dead, then they can stay at home.’
Nice manager Christophe Galtier was furious about the chanting from his own supporters
It marred a significant win for Nice, who fought back from 2-0 down against St Etienne to move fourth in the battle to qualify for next season’s Champions League.
Saint-Etienne led 2-0 at half-time with goals from Denis Bouanga and Zaydou Youssouf.
Nice turned the game around through a Melvin Bard strike and brace from Andy Delort before Hicham Boudaoui sealed the dramatic comeback triumph.
Saint-Etienne remain in the relegation play-off position with just two games to go in the French league season.