Football: Montpellier demands 515,000 euros from two supporters for a firecracker throw

Football: Montpellier demands 515,000 euros from two supporters for a firecracker throw
Football: Montpellier demands 515,000 euros from two supporters for a firecracker throw

The Montpellier football club is demanding that two of its supporters, accused of being responsible for throwing a firecracker from the stands towards the Clermont-Ferrand goalkeeper in October, pay it more than half a million euros of repair.

The meeting between MHSC and Clermont on October 8, for the 8th day of Ligue 1, was definitively stopped in the 91st minute after a powerful firecracker exploded very close to the visiting club’s goalkeeper, Mory Diaw, while Montpellier led 4-2. The Auvergne goalkeeper, a Senegalese international, was evacuated on a stretcher.

The match was replayed behind closed doors at the end of November on the MHSC pitch (1-1 draw). The club was also stripped of a point in the ranking by the disciplinary committee of the Professional Football League (LFP).

At the hearing on Tuesday, the MHSC lawyer calculated the club’s damage at 515,000 euros: 18,000 euros for the organization of a “replay” behind closed doors, 13,000 euros for the partial closure of a stand during two matches and above all 484,000 euros to compensate for TV rights that the club did not receive by slipping one place in the Ligue 1 ranking after this episode, the rights being distributed according to the ranking. The court will deliver its decision on May 16.

“Disproportionate” and “delusional” amounts according to the defense

A 25-year-old man, with no criminal record and reported to the police as the thrower of the firecracker by other supporters, admitted to having thrown it, but “with his back turned” to the pitch, without aiming at the goalkeeper, to “celebrate the victory” which was taking shape.

He assured that it was his friend and co-accused who had given it to him inside the stadium, which the latter, a 23-year-old apprentice cook, denied, while admitting to having passed firecrackers “from hands in hands” in the toilets during halftime.

The prosecutor requested a six-month suspended prison sentence for the first and 200 hours of community service for the second. For both, he also requested a stadium ban for three years, accompanied by an obligation to report to the police during MHSC matches.

Clermont claimed 4,000 euros for its goalkeeper and 36,000 euros for the costs incurred by his additional travel.

The defense of the two men strongly contested the amounts claimed, “disproportionate” and “delusional”. They “would amount to condemning them to work their whole lives to repay the club,” said one of the lawyers.

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