Nice manager Claude Puel and players attacked by fans after training

Nice manager Claude Puel and players attacked by fans after training

Posted on - May 15 Friday, 2015

Ligue 1 side Nice’s troubled season took a turn for the worse on Thursday when coach Claude Puel and some of his players were attacked by a group of up to 70 supporters at their training base.

After a 5-0 defeat to Saint-Étienne on Sunday left the club in 15th position in the table, members of supporters group La Populaire Sud turned up at the Charles-Ehrmann training base to vent their frustrations.

According to organisers, the protest was meant in “joy and good humour” but the scene quickly descended into turmoil as some fans threw firecrackers and home-made smoke bombs as the players attempted to train.

Having suffered a similar attack earlier in the season, Nice officials had arranged for police high-ranking stewards to be present but that did not stop fans pushing and shoving Puel and his assistant Guy Mengual as they attempted to reach the changing room. Former Middlesbrough midfielder and Nice captain Didier Digard was also targeted, while young goalkeeper Mouez Hassen needed protection to reach his car.

“I think that we are operating in a particular envirnoment,” Puel said afterwards.

“But what interests me is to stay focused on our next two deadlines. We will tackle it. Is it suitable for football? It’s something else.”

Nice face Lens on Saturday, knowing victory would secure their top-flight status for another season.