September 20, 2021

Soccer notebook: Nice-Bordeaux behind closed doors, Pique buys Ligue 1 rights, more under-the-radar stories


As the summer transfer window speeds towards a thunderous conclusion, with Cristiano Ronaldo heading back to Old Trafford to join Manchester United, you would be forgiven for missing several non-transfer stories going on across Europe at present. From the chaos during OGC Nice vs. Olympique de Marseille to Gerard Pique’s acquisition of Ligue 1 television rights, we have you covered for anything you might have missed.

Our picks.

Early Nice-Marseille sanctions

Although the LFP will need until early September to hand down definitive punishments for the scenes which marred Nice’s Ligue 1 clash with Marseille at Allianz Riviera last weekend, some early measures have already been put into place.

On top of the local authorities’ decision to close the southern stand after their role in the carnage, the league’s disciplinary committee have taken several early measures with Nice-Girondins de Bordeaux to take place behind closed door this weekend.

Marseille fitness coach Pablo Fernandez has also been suspended from all professional functions until further notice after he punched one of the fans on the pitch with further and definitive decisions to come on Sept. 8.

Wolfsburg’s Pokal shame

VfL Wolfsburg’s appeal against their DFB Pokal expulsion has been unsuccessful and a 2-0 loss to Preußen Münster has been confirmed for Mark van Bommel’s men due to the six changes they made instead of the allotted five. The draw for the next round will take place in the coming days.

LFP will not join internationals boycott

While leagues across Europe are blocking international players from playing for their countries this upcoming break, the French governing body will not follow suit but has expressed their dissatisfaction with FIFA in a communique and will look to aid their clubs.

Chievo disappear

Sad news in Italy as Chievo Verona, Hellas Verona’s local rivals and fellow Bentegodi occupants, ceased to exist this week after no buyer was found before the deadline which will now see a phoenix club formed by legendary figure Sergio Pellissier who made nearly 500 appearances for the Flying Donkeys.

Fiorentina fans to stay away

Staying in Italy and Fiorentina supporters Curva Fiesole have announced that they will not be attending Viola games until anti-COVID regulations exist in Serie A.

Pique acquires Ligue 1 rights in Spain

Lionel Messi’s Barcelona departure has created a business opportunity for former teammate Gerard Pique with Kosmos buying the rights to broadcast Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 for the next three years in Spain as part of a partnership with Enjoy TV.

The legendary Argentine’s debut could come this weekend in Reims while influencer Ibai Llanos will be streaming the game on Twitch and Telecinco will make the game free-to-air.

FIFA attempt Afghan evacuation

Away from soccer, the political situation in Afghanistan has been headline new over the past few weeks and FIFA are currently working to evacuate Afghan athletes along with other governments with Australia evacuating 50 female athletes earlier this week.

“FIFA’s leadership is personally involved in negotiating the complex evacuation of footballers and other athletes,” said the governing body. “This is an extremely challenging environment and, given the delicate and volatile situation on the ground, please understand we cannot provide any further details at this stage.”





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