Fire Erupts At French Cathedral

A French Police officer gestures as firefighters are at work to put out a fire at the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral in Nantes, western France, on July 18, 2020. Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP
A French Police officer gestures as firefighters are at work to put out a fire at the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral in Nantes, western France, on July 18, 2020. Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP

 

Fire erupted Saturday inside a gothic cathedral in the western French city of Nantes, but firefighters brought the blaze under control within hours, emergency services said.

Officials said the cathedral’s organ was destroyed and its platform could collapse, but added that the damage was not comparable to last year’s fire at Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris.

Fire crews were alerted just before 08:00 am (0600 GMT) to the blaze at the Cathedral of St Peter and St Paul and around 100 personnel rushed to the scene.

After two hours, emergency teams managed to contain the fire at the gothic structure, built between 15th and 19th centuries, said regional fire chief General Laurent Ferlay.

Prime Minister Jean Castex said he would visit the scene later on Saturday.

“I want to know what happened but first I’m going to show my solidarity with the people of Nantes,” Castex told reporters.

Firefighters are at work to put out a fire at the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral in Nantes, western France, on July 18, 2020.  Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP
Firefighters are at work to put out a fire at the Saint-Pierre-et-Saint-Paul cathedral in Nantes, western France, on July 18, 2020. Sebastien SALOM-GOMIS / AFP

 

President Emmanuel Macron tweeted his “support for our firefighters who are taking all the risks to save this gothic jewel”.

The building was last hit by fire in 1972. Its roof took more than 13 years to repair.

Another religious building in Nantes — the Basilica of St Donatian and St Rogatian — was struck by a fire in 2015 that destroyed three-quarters of its roof.

In April last year, a fire engulfed Paris’s 13th century Notre-Dame cathedral, causing its steeple to collapse and sending billowing fumes containing toxic molten lead into the air. The structure will take years to repair.

 

AFP

FIFA Orders Cardiff To Pay Nantes $6.5m For Sala’s Transfer

This file photo taken on November 25, 2017, shows Nantes’ Argentinian Italian forward Emiliano Sala during the French L1 football match between Stade Rennais (Stade Resnais FC) and Nantes (FC Nantes) at The Roazhon Park in Rennes.

 

Cardiff City must pay French club Nantes six million euros ($6.5 million) to settle a dispute over the payment of the transfer fee for Emiliano Sala, FIFA said on Monday.

The amount corresponds to the first instalment of the 17 million-euro fee Cardiff had agreed to pay Nantes before Sala died in a plane crash on January 21 while travelling to join his new club.

Cardiff had previously resolved not to pay any of the money even though the transfer had been completed before the accident.

The announcement from world football’s governing body followed a meeting by its Players’ Status Committee.

In a statement, FIFA said it had “never lost sight of the specific and unique circumstances of this tragic situation during its deliberations on the dispute at stake.”

Both clubs can appeal the decision to the Swiss-based Court of Arbitration for Sport.

Nantes had previously appealed in February over Cardiff’s failure to pay the 17 million euros they said was owed.

The plane Sala was travelling on came down in the English Channel on January 21 during a night-time flight.

His body was recovered, but that of the pilot, David Ibbotson, has never been found.

A report by Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch in August said that Sala and the pilot were likely exposed to “potentially fatal” levels of carbon monoxide on the plane.

AFP

Nigeria’s Osimhen Fires Lille To Winning Start On Debut

Lille’s Nigerian forward Victor Osimhen (C) vies with Nantes’ Malian defender Molla Wague during the French L1 football match between Lille (LOSC) and FC Nantes at the Pierre Mauroy Stadium in Villeneuve-d’Ascq northern France, on August 11, 2019. PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP

 

New signing Victor Osimhen marked his Ligue 1 debut with two goals as last year’s runners-up Lille kicked off their new campaign with a 2-1 victory over Nantes on Sunday.

Christophe Galtier’s hosts, who finished 16 points behind champions Paris Saint-Germain last term, were indebted to 20-year-old Osimhen at the Stade Pierre-Mauroy.

Osimhen in action during the stunning debut. PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP

 

The five-time Nigeria international, signed from Belgian outfit Charleroi in the close season, quickly displayed his pace by racing clear and slotting home the opening goal in the 19th minute.

 

Osimhen (2L) is congratulated by his teammates after scoring his second goal during the game.
PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP

 

Zeki Celik deflected Andrei Girotto’s strike into his own net six minutes after the break for the first goal of Christian Gourcuff’s reign as Nantes coach, but Osimhen had the final say with a thunderous 80th-minute strike.

Later on Sunday, PSG kick off their title defence at the Parc des Princes against Nimes, although the capital club will be without Neymar after admitting the Brazilian is closing in on a move away from France.

Osimhen celebrates after scoring. PHILIPPE HUGUEN / AFP

 

Lyon had opened the season with an impressive 3-0 win at Monaco on Friday, while Andre Villas-Boas’ return to football as Marseille coach started with a 2-0 home loss to Reims on Saturday.

AFP

Nantes Appoint Gourcuff As New Coach After Halilhodzic’s Resignation

Rennes’ French coach Christian Gourcuff looks on during the French L1 football match between Montpellier and Rennes, on October 28, 2017, at the La Mosson Stadium in Montpellier, southern France. SYLVAIN THOMAS / AFP

 

French Ligue 1 club Nantes said Thursday they had appointed Christian Gourcuff as coach in place of Vahid Halilhodzic, who quit last week.

“He is the coach I have been after for a long time,” Nantes owner Waldemar Kita said, describing 64-year-old Gourcuff as “one of the best coaches in the French game.”

READ ALSO: Gabriel Jesus Gets Two-Month International Ban

Gourcuff’s previous experience in Ligue 1 includes two stints with Rennes and Lorient. The former midfielder, whose playing career included spells at both clubs, also coached abroad, including a spell in charge of Algeria between 2014 and 2016.

Halilhodzic, 67, quit last week after just one season in charge marked by differences over strategy with Kita and the club’s directors.

AFP

Nantes Take Sala Transfer Dispute To FIFA

Emiliano Sala/AFP

 

French club Nantes have referred their dispute with Cardiff City over the transfer fee of Emiliano Sala to FIFA, football’s governing body confirmed on Wednesday.

The clubs are wrangling over payment of the fee following the tragic death of Argentinian Sala in an airplane accident in January.

Nantes referred the matter to the sport’s global body after the Welsh side declined to pay an initial six million euros ($6.8 million) of the 17 million euros ($19.4 million) total fee.

“We can confirm that we have received yesterday evening (Tuesday) a claim from FC Nantes against Cardiff City in connection with the transfer of Emiliano Sala,” a FIFA spokesperson said.

“We are looking into the matter and consequently we have no further comments at this stage.”

Cardiff were due to pay the initial six million euros once the transfer had been registered but the club said they wanted to wait for the results of the investigation into the accident before transferring any funds.

“Cardiff City remains committed to ensuring fairness and accountability with respect to the agreement between Cardiff City and FC Nantes, but first and foremost the relevant authorities must be allowed to determine the facts surrounding this tragedy. It is inappropriate to comment further at this stage,” Cardiff said in a statement.

According to the French club, the 28-year-old’s move from France had been completed and an International Transfer Certificate (ITC) issued.

As the ITC had been registered and Sala had been confirmed as a Cardiff player, according to Nantes the Welsh club were obligated to pay for the transfer.

 Mandate expired 

However, Cardiff are concerned about possible irregularities involving the flight from Nantes to Cardiff which resulted in Sala’s death.

Pilot David Ibbotson, 59, was flying Sala to the Premier League outfit on January 21 when the accident happened.

Britain’s Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) said on Monday the plane carrying Sala did not have a commercial licence.

But it said the journey would have been allowed as a “private” flight in which costs are shared between pilot and passenger.

It added that the basis on which Sala was a passenger had not been established.

Football agent Mark McKay had a mandate from Nantes to negotiate the transfer of the professional contract between the two clubs.

Nantes has said that the mandate had expired by the time Sala boarded the flight as he had already signed for Cardiff City.

The investigators also said that since the pilot’s logbook and licence were not recovered, it was unclear whether Ibbotson was authorised to fly at night.

Ibbotson’s body has not been found.

AFP

Sala’s Death: Cardiff Consider Legal Action Against Nantes Over ‘Negligence’ – Report

Emiliano Sala/AFP

 

Cardiff City could launch a negligence claim against Nantes as soon as next week if an official report finds Emiliano Sala was flown to his death by a pilot who did not have the correct licence, according to Britain’s Sunday Telegraph.

Premier League side Cardiff already find themselves involved in a legal dispute with French side Nantes over whether they are contractually obliged to pay a transfer fee for the Argentinian striker, who died without playing a game for the Welsh side.

Sala had signed for Cardiff for a club record £15 million ($19 million) and was flying to his new team from former side Nantes in France when his plane went missing over the Channel on January 21.

READ ALSO: Sala’s Funeral Takes Place In Argentina

The wreckage was located on the seabed. Sala’s body was recovered but pilot David Ibbotson is still missing. The aircraft remains under the sea.

Details of how Sala died, and who was responsible, could be clarified in the coming days by Britain’s Air Accidents Investigations Bureau, which had previously said it intended to publish an interim report into the crash within a month of it occurring.

The Telegraph said an internal Cardiff inquiry had found no evidence that Ibbotson held the licence necessary to carry passengers on a commercial basis.

If the AAIB report upholds this view, it may constitute the basis for a claim of negligence against whoever recruited Ibbotson as the pilot for Sala’s flight.

Agents Willie and Mark McKay have said they arranged Sala’s flight but did not select the plane or pilot. The pair had been working for Nantes.

A successful negligence claim against Nantes would reduce the transfer fee that Cardiff owed the French club.

And that payment could decrease further if Cardiff can show that Sala’s transfer was incomplete at the time of his death because he had not yet been registered to play in the Premier League.

“We believe that the player was not registered with the Premier League,” Cardiff chairman Mehmet Dalman told the Telegraph.

Sala was buried in his hometown of Progreso in Argentina on Saturday, with Cardiff manager Neil Warnock and club executive Ken Choo among the mourners.

“It was important for us to come and pay the respect to the family,” Warnock told AFP. “People tell me: ‘He never played for you,’ but he was my player, I signed him, we had two or three conversations and he told me he would score the goals to keep Cardiff in the Premier League.”

AFP

Ligue 1: Depay Stars As Lyon Beat Nantes To Go Second

 

Depay Stars As Lyon Beat Nantes To Go Second
Lyon’s forward Bertrand Traore (2ndL) celebrates with his teammates Memphis Depay (2ndR) and  Houssem Aouar (R) after scoring a goal during their French L1 football match against FC Nantes (FCN) on April 28, 2018. Photo: JEFF PACHOUD / AFP

 

Memphis Depay continued his remarkable run of form with a goal and an assist as Lyon beat Nantes 2-0 on Saturday to strengthen their grip on a top-three spot in Ligue 1.

Bruno Genesio’s men moved into second in the table with three matches to play, two points above stuttering Monaco and three clear of Marseille.

Monaco take on Amiens later on Saturday, while Marseille visit Angers on Sunday as the two sides fight it out with Lyon for two Champions League spots behind champions Paris Saint-Germain.

“We did the job by taking all three points, all the matches until the end will be decisive,” said Lyon midfielder Lucas Tousart.

“We were not put in too much danger defensively and we had a lot of chances to score. We could have scored more but we got the win, and that’s the main thing.”

Lyon took the lead five minutes before half-time as Nabil Fekir ran clear of the Nantes midfield and picked out Depay in space.

The 24-year-old Dutchman did the rest, turning onto his left foot and firing into the bottom corner past visiting goalkeeper Ciprian Tatarusanu.

Lyon dominated in the second half but struggled to put their dogged opponents away, with centre-back Marcelo heading wide when unmarked at the back post from a Depay free-kick.

But the home side wrapped up the points midway through the second half, as Depay jinked past two defenders and teed up Bertrand Traore to slam the ball home.

Former Manchester United winger Depay has now scored seven goals and assisted six in his last six league games.

Fekir drew a flying save from Tatarusanu as Lyon pressed in vain for a third, but a straightfoward victory over Claudio Ranieri’s Nantes keeps their Champions League hopes in their own hands.

AFP

Ranieri To Quit Nantes For Italian Team

Ranieri Ready To Quit Nantes For Italy Job
Nantes’ Italian head coach Claudio Ranieri reacts during the football match against Nice on  at the “Allianz Riviera” stadium in southeastern France. VALERY HACHE / AFP

 

Claudio Ranieri, who led Leicester City to an unlikely English Premier League title, has revealed he is ready to quit French Ligue 1 club Nantes if he is asked to become Italy coach.

The 66-year-old has been one of the names touted as a possible replacement for Gian Piero Ventura who was forced to resign after Italy’s shock failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

“Any Italian coach would love to be in charge of the national side,” Ranieri, who guided Leicester to their first ever Premier League title in 2016, told Sky Sport Italia.

“I have a contract with Nantes for two years and I have not received any messages, so I can’t say anything.

“But if I were to be contacted for the Italy job, I’d go to the Nantes president and ask to be released,” said the widely-travelled Ranieri, whose former clubs include Juventus, Napoli and Roma in Italy, Premier League giants Chelsea and Valencia and Atletico Madrid in Spain.

He also had a brief stint in charge of the Greek national side.

Ranieri joined Nantes this season and the club are in fifth position in Ligue 1, 10 points behind Lyon, who are in the fourth and final European qualifying spot.

“The day it’s decided we’ll see … if the opportunity arises I’ll discuss it (with him),” said Nantes president Waldemar Kita.

“I would also understand, in a way, that at the end of his career as a top coach, it could end well for him (with an offer) that will not present itself twice.

“I’m not one to curb professional and personal ambitions, so I’m not going to. If I was in his position I would do the same thing.”

Italy’s 1-0 aggregate play-off defeat to Sweden last year meant the Azzurri failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Former Italy head coach Antonio Conte, now coaching Chelsea; Carlo Ancelotti, sacked by Bayern Munich last September, and Zenit Saint Petersburg coach Roberto Mancini are also among those linked to the coaching job.

Italy Under-21 boss Luigi Di Biagio has been appointed interim coach to oversee friendlies against Argentina and England next month.

AFP

Ranieri Ready To Quit Nantes For Italy Job

Ranieri Ready To Quit Nantes For Italy Job
Nantes’ Italian head coach Claudio Ranieri reacts during the football match against Nice on February 18, 2018 at the “Allianz Riviera” stadium in southeastern France. VALERY HACHE / AFP

 

Claudio Ranieri, who led Leicester City to an unlikely English Premier League title, has revealed he is ready to quit French Ligue 1 club Nantes if he is asked to become Italy coach.

The 66-year-old has been one of the names touted as a possible replacement for Gian Piero Ventura who was forced to resign after Italy’s shock failure to qualify for the World Cup in Russia.

“Any Italian coach would love to be in charge of the national side,” Ranieri, who guided Leicester to their first ever Premier League title in 2016, told Sky Sport Italia.

“I have a contract with Nantes for two years and I have not received any messages, so I can’t say anything.

“But if I were to be contacted for the Italy job, I’d go to the Nantes president and ask to be released,” said the widely-travelled Ranieri, whose former clubs include Juventus, Napoli and Roma in Italy, Premier League giants Chelsea and Valencia and Atletico Madrid in Spain.

He also had a brief stint in charge of the Greek national side.

Ranieri joined Nantes this season and the club are in the fifth position in Ligue 1, 10 points behind Lyon, who are in the fourth and final European qualifying spot.

Italy’s 1-0 aggregate play-off defeat to Sweden last year meant the Azzurri failed to reach the World Cup for the first time since 1958.

Former Italy head coach Antonio Conte, Carlo Ancelotti and Roberto Mancini are also among those linked to the coaching job.

Italy Under-21 boss Luigi Di Biagio has been appointed an interim coach to oversee friendlies against Argentina and England next month.

AFP

Ref, Technology Controversies Cast Shadow Over Ligue 1

Nantes’ Brazilian defender Diego Carlos (C) receives a red card from French referee Tony Chapron during the French L1 football match between Nantes and Paris Saint-Germain at the La Beaujoire stadium in Nantes on January 14, 2018.  LOIC VENANCE / AFP

 

France’s Ligue 1 launches into a midweek round of games after a weekend marred by referee Tony Chapron’s bizarre kick at a Nantes player and goal-line technology glitches.

Chapron has been suspended by the French Football Federation “until further notice” after kicking the Nantes defender Diego Carlos and then sending him off towards the end of their 1-0 defeat to league leaders Paris Saint-Germain on Sunday.

The bizarre incident, footage of which has gone viral, could have serious consequences for 45-year-old official Chapron, who has apologised.

Diego Carlos has since had the second yellow card rescinded after it was shown when he knocked Chapron over in an accidental collision at the Stade de la Beaujoire.

That means he can play for Claudio Ranieri’s fifth-placed side at Toulouse on Wednesday, but Chapron — who recently refereed a game in the Chinese Super League — will not be the man in the middle for the match between Angers and Troyes.

He will be called to appear before the French league’s disciplinary commission at a later date to explain himself.

He may also have to explain why Nantes had an equalising goal disallowed against PSG — Emiliano Sala, who headed in from a free-kick, was not in an offside position, although two of his team-mates were.

“We tried to equalise, but here there is no VAR (video assistant referees)”, bemoaned Ranieri. “Except, for me, Sala was coming from behind and the goal was valid.”

VAR is now used in several leagues, including in the German Bundesliga and Italy’s Serie A.

However, the French league (LFP) are hoping to introduce it for next season and carried out tests in last week’s League Cup quarter-finals.

In the meantime, the LFP have indefinitely suspended their use of goal-line technology because of “serious dysfunctions”, including in the League Cup tie between Amiens and PSG.

– Cavani targets goal record –
The capital club moved 11 points clear at the summit after beating Nantes courtesy of an early Angel Di Maria goal for their seventh straight win in all competitions.

PSG coach Unai Emery will hope to have Neymar back against Dijon at the Parc des Princes after the world’s most expensive player missed Sunday’s game with a rib problem.

Edinson Cavani, who returned against Nantes after being left out of PSG’s first two games of 2018 following a late return from a holiday in South America, is still just one goal away from equalling Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s club record tally of 156.

Behind the leaders, only one point separates second-placed Monaco, Lyon in third and Marseille in fourth.

Reigning champions Monaco host Cote d’Azur rivals Nice, a week after beating them 2-1 away in the League Cup quarter-finals.

Monaco coach Leonardo Jardim is hoping Radamel Falcao can feature for the first time in 2018.

“Falcao and (Guido) Carrillo have had problems, but we need a striker to maintain an impact in attack. Both of them can play,” Jardim said.

Player to watch: Yann M’Vila
The 27-year-old midfielder will hope to make his first appearance in French football in five years when Saint-Etienne go to Metz.

M’Vila joined struggling Saint-Etienne last week after leaving Russian club Rubin Kazan. Once a great French hope, the midfielder has had spells at Sunderland and Inter Milan since leaving Rennes.

He has won 22 caps for France, although the last of those came at Euro 2012.

Fixtures (1800 GMT unless stated)

Tuesday

Bordeaux v Caen, Marseille v Strasbourg, Monaco v Nice (2000 GMT)

Wednesday

Amiens v Montpellier, Angers v Troyes, Guingamp v Lyon, Lille v Rennes, Metz v Saint-Etienne, Toulouse v Nantes, Paris Saint-Germain v Dijon (2000 GMT).

AFP

Claudio Ranieri Takes Over As Coach At Nantes

Ranieri Takes Over As Coach At NantesVeteran Italian coach Claudio Ranieri has taken over at Nantes, the Ligue 1 club said on Thursday.

The 65-year-old led Leicester City to their English Premier League title last season, despite facing a number of challenges at the club.

Nantes confirmed that he had signed a two-year contract in what the club described as a “nice coup by the Nantes directors.”

It will be Ranieri’s second stint in France after he led AS Monaco out of the second division in 2012-13 and then to second place in Ligue 1 the following season.

He replaced Portuguese Sergio Conceicao, who led Nantes from the relegation zone in December to a seventh-place finish this season, but then resigned to take charge of Porto in his homeland.

The well-travelled Italian has coached eight different clubs in his homeland, including Juventus, AS Roma, Inter Milan and Napoli, as well as Atletico Madrid and Valencia in Spain; Chelsea and Leicester City in England; and the Greek national side.

Ranieri was sacked by Leicester in February only nine months after leading them to the Premier League title.