What sanctions do Montpellier face after firecracker explodes next to Clermont goalkeeper Mory Diaw?

Montpellier HSC had looked on course for victory against Clermont Foot. In injury time, Michel Der Zakarian’s side were 4-2 up, however, as Clermont goalkeeper Mory Diaw prepared to take a goal-kick, a firecracker, thrown from the stands, landed near the feet of the former PSG academy goalkeeper, and exploded. 

Diaw was subsequently stretchered off the field. “Mory is shocked, I was scared for him,” said teammate Johan Gastien. The referee, in order to protect the players’ safety, took everyone on the pitch. Not long after, it was announced that the game would not resume. 

A points deduction? 

Montpellier are now waiting to know the consequences of the abandonment. The LFP disciplinary committee will meet to discuss the incident, and their decision will be known within two weeks, according to L’Équipe. Les Héraults face a points-deduction, and given the precedent set, this is a likely punishment. Following not-so-dissimilar incidents at Nice-Marseille, Lyon-Marseille (both 2021-22 season) and Bordeaux-Rodez (2022-23 season), the clubs in question were punished with a point deduction. 

Montpellier, despite leading 4-2 with just seconds remaining, could lose the match, whilst the closure of the Heidelberg stand, from which the firecracker was thrown, is also a possibility. The game could also be replayed, either in its entirety, or from the minute of the abandonment (90+2). This replay could take place behind closed doors, or at a neutral venue. 

GFFN | Luke Entwistle

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