Two events foreshadowed Nice’s elimination from the Europa Conference.
The first was ‘L’Affaire Galtier’.
Galtier was a successful manager of Lille, recruited when Jacques Rivieère was President of Nice.
Jim Radcliffe of Ineos then acquired Nice and PSG poached Galtier. It is alleged by Nice’s sporting director Julien Fournier that Galtier – when at Nice – made racist remarks about their Muslim players one of whom (Khevem Thuram) is the son of the great Lilian Thuram.
Galtier denies any such racism but the affaire is still rumbling on.
The second event was the banning of Basel fans by the French government.
1500 Basel fans were holed out in San Remo across the Italian border and were banned from the visitor’s section of the Riviera Allianz stadium of Nice.
There was a fight between Nice and Basel fans in Menton. At the match for 80 minutes Basel showed less aggression than their banned Ultras.
Nice were leading 1-0 and 3-2 on aggregate through a Gaetan Laborde header.
Basel equalised through Augustin then scored the winner in extra time to win so Nice were denied a semi final (their first in a European competition) to Fiorentina.
The Italian side were at one stage trailing 0-3 to Lech Poznań. The game was heading to extra time when Castrovili scored twice.
There are no French clubs left in European competition. I suspect Nice owner Jim Ratcliffe will now be more interested in getting his bid for Manchester Utd over the line.
He would have been unimpressed by Nicolas Pepé – loaned from Arsenal – being voted by l’Equipe the worst player on the pitch.