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?
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

h2 Recruit Ltd: Business Development Manager - IT Managed Services - £65,000

£35000 per annum + OTE £65,000 +Pension: h2 Recruit Ltd: A fantastic opportuni...

Recruitment Genius: Industrial Gas Burner Engineer

£26000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Industrial Gas Burner Engine...

Recruitment Genius: Telesales Advisor - OTE £30,000

£15000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

h2 Recruit Ltd: Inside Sales Manager - Accountancy Software - £80,000 OTE

£50000 - £60000 per annum + £80,000 OTE: h2 Recruit Ltd: London, Reading , Sou...

Day In a Page

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Drifting and forgotten - turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Homeless Veterans Christmas Appeal: Turning lives around for ex-soldiers

Our partner charities help veterans on the brink – and get them back on their feet
Putin’s far-right ambition: Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU

Putin’s far-right ambition

Think-tank reveals how Russian President is wooing – and funding – populist parties across Europe to gain influence in the EU
Tove Jansson's Moominland: What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?

Escape to Moominland

What was the inspiration for Finland's most famous family?
Nightclubbing with Richard Young: The story behind his latest book of celebrity photographs

24-Hour party person

Photographer Richard Young has been snapping celebrities at play for 40 years. As his latest book is released, he reveals that it wasn’t all fun and games
Michelle Obama's school dinners: America’s children have a message for the First Lady

A taste for rebellion

US children have started an online protest against Michelle Obama’s drive for healthy school meals by posting photos of their lunches
Colouring books for adults: How the French are going crazy for Crayolas

Colouring books for adults

How the French are going crazy for Crayolas
Jack Thorne's play 'Hope': What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

What would you do as a local politician faced with an impossible choice of cuts?

Playwright Jack Thorne's latest work 'Hope' poses the question to audiences
Ed Harcourt on Romeo Beckham and life as a court composer at Burberry

Call me Ed Mozart

Paloma Faith, Lana del Ray... Romeo Beckham. Ed Harcourt has proved that he can write for them all. But it took a personal crisis to turn him from indie star to writer-for-hire
10 best stocking fillers for foodies

Festive treats: 10 best stocking fillers for foodies

From boozy milk to wasabi, give the food-lover in your life some extra-special, unusual treats to wake up to on Christmas morning
Phil Hughes head injury: He had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Phil Hughes had one weakness – it has come back to haunt him

Prolific opener had world at his feet until Harmison and Flintoff bounced him
'I have an age of attraction that starts as low as four': How do you deal with a paedophile who has never committed a crime?

'I am a paedophile'

Is our approach to sex offenders helping to create more victims?
How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

How bad do you have to be to lose a Home Office contract?

Serco given Yarl’s Wood immigration contract despite ‘vast failings’
Green Party on the march in Bristol: From a lost deposit to victory

From a lost deposit to victory

Green Party on the march in Bristol
Putting the grot right into Santa's grotto

Winter blunderlands

Putting the grot into grotto
'It just came to us, why not do it naked?' London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital

'It just came to us, why not do it naked?'

London's first nude free runner captured in breathtaking images across capital