Nice (France), Nov 21 (IANS) Without any supporters from visiting sides this weekend, French domestic football got back under way seven days after the deadly terror attacks here as Nice secured a surprising 3-0 victory over Lyon here.
The country has been in mourning since last Friday when the French capital was struck by a series of terror attacks which claimed the lives of at least 129 people, including three suicide bombers who blew themselves up outside the Stade de France where France was playing Germany in an international friendly, reports Xinhua.
In homage to the victims who died in the attacks, Ligue 1 has taken the initiative to observe a minute of silence and play La Marseillaise before the kick-off of games this weekend. With increased security, the match between Nice and Lyon at the Allianz Riviera on Friday, opening fixture of the French top flight football league’s 14th round, was the first to observe the protocol.
French sports minister Patrick Kanner and French league president Frederic Thiriez attended the pre-match mourning as fans held candles and a banner of “Supporters Unis Dans La Douleur (Supporters United in Grief)” during the one-minute silence.
The hosts took the lead (20th minute) when Valere Germain converted Jean Seri’s pass over Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopez after a superb first touch control. Three minutes into the second half, Nice were two goals ahead after Mapou Yanga-Mbiwa turned the ball into his own net. And Vincent Koziello rifled home 12 minutes from time, firing Nice up to third.
With the victory, Nice climbed to third while the second-placed Lyon failed to close the 10-point gap on leaders Paris St. Germain, who visit Lorient on Saturday.