According to a report from L’Équipe, the upcoming Coupe de France quarter-final match between Nantes and Lens will be played behind closed doors at the Stade de la Beaujoire. This decision was made due to a sanction imposed on Nantes for the use of pyrotechnic devices by their supporters during the final at the Stade de France on 7th May last year.
Nantes, who have not played a home match in the Coupe de France since the final, will face Lens in an empty stadium. The disciplinary committee had ordered the club to apply the sanction for their next home game. As Nantes played their previous three matches away from home, the decision will take effect against Lens.
The sanction has been described as unfair by Nantes coach Antoine Kombouaré, who believes it was a special moment for their supporters. He stated, “Maybe they thought we would play our first match at the Beaujoire and it would be less serious.”
There were reports that both clubs had requested to play on neutral ground and in front of a live crowd while donating the proceeds to a charitable cause. However, according to the Coupe de France organising committee, the request was informal and did not progress any further. Nantes did not appeal the decision, and the sanction was deemed necessary.
GFFN | George Boxall