Football: Marseilles' defeat met by fan flare

Around The World Edited

France

MARSEILLES' TROUBLED season sunk to a new low on Sunday when their 5- 1 French First Division defeat at St-Etienne was held up for 10 minutes when their fans hurled seats on to the pitch.

It was Marseilles' first defeat to their arch-rivals in 20 years. Installed as one of the title favourites at the beginning of the season, they are now eighth, 13 points adrift of the league leaders Monaco.

The players, who had been castigated by their new coach Bernard Casoni after a humiliating 3-0 Champions' League defeat at Feyenoord last Tuesday, had promised to react. Instead they collapsed and conceded five goals within an hour, including four by St-Etienne's Brazilian striker Alex, before Marseilles' Stephane Dalmat replied with a consolation goal in injury time.

"I'm ashamed for my family, for my friends and for the fans who came tonight. The situation has become tricky," Marseilles' former Blackburn defender Sebastien Perez said on Sunday night.

St-Etienne's goalkeeper, Jerome Alonzo, said: "The team are crumbling. I cannot understand how they could sink that low." Club sources said the winter break could see big changes, including the sale of five or six players. Marseilles have already sold Fabrizio Ravanelli, their highest- paid player, to Lazio.

Spain

JESUS GIL, the Atletico Madrid president, has offered irate fans their money back on season tickets following the latest setback at the club.

Atletico's extraordinary 2-1 defeat at their Estadio Vicente Calderon on Sunday - beaten by a Valencia side who finished the game with eight players - prompted angry taunts from home fans at Gil and his coach, Claudio Ranieri.

Gil shouted back: "What am I supposed to do?" But he later tried to ease the tension by offering a money-back guarantee to Atletico supporters.

"I've now given the order that from Monday anyone who wants can go to the club and get their money back on season tickets," Gil promised on Sunday. "I've got faith in Ranieri's efforts but, if other people haven't, then fine, don't come."

Atletico, 16th in the 20-team Spanish First Division, are just a point clear of the relegation zone. Gil admitted that without their former Leeds United striker Jimmy Floyd Hasselbaink, who scored his 12th goal of the season against Valencia, the situation would be even worse. "The truth is that if Hasselbaink wasn't playing we'd be at the bottom of the table," Gil said.

Nigeria

FOUR ENGLISH-based players have been named in Nigeria's preliminary squad for next month's African Nations' Cup.

The Arsenal striker Nwankwo Kanu is the most high-profile inclusion, along with Chelsea's in-form left-back Celestine Babayaro. Luton Town's former Stevenage Borough defender Efe Sodje and the Birmingham City forward, Dele Adebola, are also in the squad for the tournament, which runs from 22 January to 13 February.

Nigeria's newly appointed coach is the Dutchman, Jo Bonfrere, who is in his second spell with the African country. He led their Under-23 side to an Olympic gold medal in Atlanta in 1996.

Armenia

SHIRAK GYUMRI clinched their third Armenian title with a 0-0 draw at last year's winners, Tsement Ararat, in the season's finale yesterday.

The match was rescheduled after Armenia's football federation rejected Tsement's 1-0 win, which would have given them their second straight league crown, because they believed the 4 December game was rigged.

As time was running out, the match referee Slavik Kazaryan first sent off a Shirak player and then awarded a highly controversial second penalty against them to give Tsement's striker Aram Akopyan another chance to redeem himself, after an earlier miss from the spot. Kazaryan was suspended and relieved from his job as the head of the federation's technical department.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
football

Arts and Entertainment
music
Life and Style
Designer Oscar de la Renta takes a bow after showing his Spring 2015 collection in September, his last show before his death
fashionThe passing of the legendary designer has left a vacancy: couturier to America’s royalty, says fashion editor Alexander Fury
Life and Style
tech

Company reveals $542m investment in start-up building 'a rocket ship for the mind'

News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

IT Project Manager

Competitive: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Chelmsford a...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

Business Intelligence Specialist - work from home

£40000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...

IT Manager

£40000 - £45000 per annum + pension, healthcare,25 days: Ashdown Group: An est...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Let's talk about loss

We need to talk about loss

Secrecy and silence surround stillbirth
Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Will there be an all-female mission to Mars?

Women may be better suited to space travel than men are
Oscar Pistorius sentencing: The athlete's wealth and notoriety have provoked a long overdue debate on South African prisons

'They poured water on, then electrified me...'

If Oscar Pistorius is sent to jail, his experience will not be that of other inmates
James Wharton: The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

The former Guard now fighting discrimination against gay soldiers

Life after the Army has brought new battles for the LGBT activist James Wharton
Ebola in the US: Panic over the virus threatens to infect President Obama's midterms

Panic over Ebola threatens to infect the midterms

Just one person has died, yet November's elections may be affected by what Republicans call 'Obama's Katrina', says Rupert Cornwell
Premier League coaches join the RSC to swap the tricks of their trades

Darling, you were fabulous! But offside...

Premier League coaches are joining the RSC to learn acting skills, and in turn they will teach its actors to play football. Nick Clark finds out why