Montpellier Court Hears Case of Firecracker Attack on Clermont Goalkeeper

A 24-year-old man and his 22-year-old accomplice faced trial for throwing a firecracker at Clermont goalkeeper Mory Diaw during a match against Montpellier. The prosecutor requested a 6-month suspended prison sentence and over €550,000 in damages, with the court's judgment expected on May 16, 2024.

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Montpellier Court Hears Case of Firecracker Attack on Clermont Goalkeeper

Montpellier Court Hears Case of Firecracker Attack on Clermont Goalkeeper

On May 2, 2024, a criminal court in Montpellier heard the case of a firecracker thrown atClermont goalkeeperMory Diaw during a match against Montpellier on October 8, 2023, at Mosson stadium. The incident, which occurred in the 91st minute of play with Clermont leading 4-2, caused the match to be suspended as Diaw was stunned and evacuated on a stretcher. The match referee finally decided to permanently halt the game.

A 24-year-old man and his 22-year-old accomplice appeared before the court for their alleged involvement in the attack. The thrower is being tried for "violence involving the use or threat of a weapon," while his accomplice is being prosecuted for "possession of a rocket or fireworks in a sports venue during a sporting event." The prosecutor has requested a 6-month suspended prison sentence and over €550,000 in damages.

The civil parties seeking compensation include the Montpellier and Clermont clubs, goalkeeper Mory Diaw, the Football League, and the National Union of Professional Footballers. Montpellier's lawyer, Me Pascal Adde-Soubra, requested €514,000 for the club's financial losses, while Clermont is seeking €4,000,000 in repairs for Diaw, who suffered temporary headaches and tinnitus. The Auvergne club is also seeking over €36,000 in expenses incurred for the replayed match.

The defense lawyers argued that the amounts requested are excessive and that the defendants would have to work their entire lives to pay the bill. Me Anthony Chabert, representing the young person prosecuted for supplying the firecracker, exclaimed, "We have to come back to earth!" He also noted that his client works in catering, making it impossible for him to fulfill the proposed obligation to report to the police station or gendarmerie closest to his home during MHSC matches.

Me Michaël Corbier, lawyer for the main defendant, argued that "The obligation to score must be reserved for those whose personality is particularly worrying. This is not the case for my client." The prosecutor, Jean-Christophe Tixier, requested six months of suspended prison sentence and 200 hours of community service for the defendants.

The firecracker incident marked the end of Montpellier's good series, with the team then experiencing a string of poor results and ending the season with immense regrets. The French football Disciplinary Commission ruled that the match be replayed in full, with Montpellier sanctioned by the withdrawal of one point in the general classification and the partial closure of the Étang de Thau stand for two matches.

The court's judgment is expected on May 16, 2024. The incident serves as a vivid illustration of the importance of ensuring the safety and well-being of players and the integrity of the sport. The football community awaits the court's decision, questions remaining about the appropriate penalties and compensation for such dangerous and irresponsible actions by spectators at sporting events.

Key Takeaways

  • Court hears case of firecracker thrown at Clermont goalkeeper Mory Diaw during match.
  • Two defendants face charges, with prosecutor seeking 6-month suspended sentence and €550,000 in damages.
  • Civil parties seek over €4.5 million in compensation for damages and financial losses.
  • Defense argues requested amounts are excessive and defendants cannot fulfill obligations.
  • Court's judgment expected on May 16, 2024, with penalties and compensation to be decided.