French side Nantes have confirmed one of their supporters died before their Ligue 1 match against Nice on Saturday night.
Nantes say the 31-year-old man was “fatally injured” near the Stade de la Beaujoire. The game went ahead and Nantes won 1-0.
The Nantes public prosecutor’s office has opened an investigation into a possible intentional homicide.
“In circumstances which are the subject of an ongoing legal investigation, the 31-year-old collapsed, struck in the back,” a Nantes statement read.
“Despite the intervention of emergency services, the supporter could not be saved. The club can only deplore that a person lost their life in such circumstances.
“FC Nantes would like to express its most sincere condolences to the victim’s family and those close to them.”
Renaud Gaudeul, the Nantes public prosecutor, said, via French media: “Shortly before 8pm, several VTC vehicles carrying Nice supporters were attacked by FC Nantes supporters as they drove along the avenue de la Gare-de-Saint-Joseph.
“During these events, in circumstances yet to be determined, a 31-year-old FC Nantes supporter collapsed. Despite the rapid intervention of the emergency services, the man could not be saved and died on the spot.”
France’s sports minister, Amelie Oudea-Castera, said on social media: “I’m deeply saddened this evening in Nantes by the death of a Canaris supporter, who was killed on his way to the match. My thoughts are with his family, his loved ones and his friends in the stands.
“The investigation opened by the public prosecutor must now clarify the exact circumstances of the events.”
(Photo: SEBASTIEN SALOM-GOMIS/AFP via Getty Images)