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Jorge Sampaoli reacts to Nice-Marseille incidents: “We were scared.”

Speaking ahead of his Marseille side’s fixture against Saint-Étienne this weekend, manager Jorge Sampaoli invariably discussed last week’s now-infamous incidents during his team’s trip to Nice.

His words transcribed by L’Équipe, the Argentine was particularly critical of the hosts’ management and players, as well as the security on site for allowing large numbers of fans onto the pitch.

“History has taught us that it’s wrong to attack someone because they are different or wearing a different shirt, it’s discrimination and it’s not acceptable to see in football.”

“On Sunday, we were scared. Supporters of the opposing team attacked our players and the security let them do so. Certain members of the Nice management and players not only haven’t condemned these acts, but have applauded them. We came onto the pitch to defend our players, because nobody else would. We were alone.”

“Many children watch football, and I don’t want them to be seeing such a spectacle. Football is a game which brings out a lot of passion but it shouldn’t go too far, I would like to apologise to those children. This is why I am asking our supporters to not take any sort of revenge.”

“Concerning my assistant Pablo Hernández, the authorities will analyse his case. He was trying to defend the players. Obviously he himself knows that he didn’t react well. But I can assure you that he’s a fantastic person and a great professional.”

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