Montpellier president Laurent Nicollin reacts following firecracker incident: “I hope Clermont’s goalkeeper is okay.”

Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash between Montpellier and Clermont was abruptly halted after Montpellier supporter threw a firecracker at Clermont’s goalkeeper, Mory Diaw. The incident occurred in the 91st minute with Montpellier leading 4-2.

Montpellier’s president, Laurent Nicollin, expressed his frustration and disappointment in a post-match press conference, transcribed by RMC Sport. He said, “My feelings? Disgust, disillusionment, and a lot of sadness. When you’re leading 4-2 with five minutes left in the game, and you potentially could be in the 6th position tonight, with the players giving their all for thirty minutes with only ten men… It’s a feeling of disgust. That some idiot throws something from the stands at a certain point becomes unbearable and surreal. I hope Clermont’s goalkeeper is okay; I haven’t seen the footage, but I hope he can return with his teammates.”

Nicollin continued, “When you work hard to achieve something good… We are often criticized for not having ambitions, but with idiots like this, we won’t have any ambition. It’s painful and exhausting. I think of my coach and my players who put on a great performance with ten men, and the result was there. Will the match be counted as a loss or replayed…? The League will surely summon us,” he added, addressing the potential consequences of the incident.

Regarding the fan suspected of throwing the firecracker, Nicollin revealed that the individual had been arrested and discussed the legal repercussions: “What will he get? A stadium ban? That’s French law. It’s not for lack of warning about fireworks or firecrackers, but they don’t care. When you invest yourself and try to do your best and end up with this… We project an image of a club that is not ours. It’s deplorable. There’s a lot of disgust for the players, the staff, and Clermont. We can’t welcome people and be disrespectful to them.”

When asked if he thought Mory Diaw could have continued playing, Nicollin responded with frustration, “I’m not a doctor; it’s not for me to judge. The game is sacred, and we should not throw things from the stands at anyone. It’s not for me to explain that; it’s just about respect. I was told that the firecracker landed 1.5 meters away from the goalkeeper, whether it’s strong or not strong, there are consequences. You shouldn’t throw something at a player. We are educated, raised, and we are not here to throw things at people!”

Nicollin expressed his dismay, saying, “We will be summoned by the disciplinary committee, and they will tell us what to do. My only regret is that we could have been 6th or 7th tonight and put Clermont ten points behind. We might have to play in Nantes while being in the relegation zone, when we could have potentially been European contenders. All because of an idiot, and I’m being polite. It’s purely scandalous. For once, when we could have shifted to the positive side, we could have had a good season, but now we’ll struggle and fight for survival because of people like this.”

GFFN | George Boxall

More European Football News