It’s not very often a game gets postponed on the French Riviera for the weather, but Nice and Nantes will have to do it all again as their Ligue 1 clash tonight was postponed due to ‘Danté-esque’ conditions, as described by referee Fredy Fautrel.
The clash, poised at 2-2 following a fantastic first-half, was suspended as a spectacular amount of rain fell on the Allianz Riviera in the South of France, as the region has been issued an orange weather warning, with fans being asked to take precautions leaving the ground in a torrential downpour.
Jules Iloki had fired Nantes into the lead, before Valere Germain’s brace put the hosts into the ascendancy; Adrien Thomasson restored parity just before half-time in an end-to-end period, but the conditions took over in the break and despite the best efforts of the ground-staff the game couldn’t be restarted.
The players returned to the dressing-room as the officials from both sides consulted with referee Fautrel’s team to come to a decision. There were talks that the game may be resumed the following day, but with the Allianz submerged and no sign of the rain ceasing, the weather warning for the Var region ruled that option out.
It was therefore decided to replay the game in its entirety, resetting the score to 0-0 and cancelling the goals from Iloki, Thomasson, and Germain. The date has not been set as of yet, but will be announced in due course. All tickets for the game will be valid for the rearranged fixture when announced.
“As soon as I couldn’t guarantee the safety of the players I had to cancel the game” Fautrel said, speaking after the cancellation. “I took the decision with the faith of both clubs managers and presidents.”
Both Nantes manager Michel Der Zakarian and Nice boss Claude Puel commended the quick actions of referee Fautrel for his unavoidable decision, both also praised the fantastic performance of Valere Germain for the home side, who will no doubt be disappointed having had two goals wiped from his slate.
However the postponement was an necessary evil given the bucketing rainfall; now with another game to fit in amongst a tight schedule, both teams will be hoping that when the game comes back around, their players won’t become submerged in the workload.