A young Olympique Marseille fan suffering from cancer (left) has now become the tragic victim of an act of violence by other supporters. © Screenshot: lecombatdekenzo/Twitter/Imago/PanoramiC
For a seriously ill boy, a football match in the stands turned into a nightmare. Now a wave of solidarity is spreading.
Ajaccio – Although there wasn't much at stake in the French Ligue 1 duel between AC Ajaccio and Olympique Marseille on Saturday night, a scandal erupted away from the game. Fans of the hosts, who have already been relegated, physically attacked an eight-year-old suffering from cancer and his father in the stands.
|Number of teams:||20 (from 2023/24: 18)|
|Record winners:||Paris Saint-Germain (with eleven titles)|
|Champion 2022/23:||Paris Saint-Germain|
Match between Ajaccio and Marseille
The duel between AC Ajaccio and Olympique Marseille on the last matchday of Ligue 1 last Saturday did not have much to offer in terms of sport. The hosts, who had already been relegated, won 1-0 against Marseille.
Olympique, on the other hand, had already secured their ticket to Champions League qualification. Around the match, however, fans of the two rival clubs clashed again and again and sometimes engaged in violent conflicts.
"He loses his sight due to a tumor" – last wish for boy
Also in the stadium was an eight-year-old OM supporter suffering from cancer, who made headlines due to his tragic fate. According to his mother, he suffers from a brain tumor that is already in its final stages. "He is losing his sight due to his tumor and wanted to attend at least one more Marseille game," she told local news portal Corse Matin.
The family lives near Marseille on the French Mediterranean coast. In the season that has now come to an end, however, only one away game was scheduled – in Corsica. But the president of the airline Air Corsica, who knew the boy's mother from a previous excursion with her son, and the Rotary Club of the club invited the family to the match between OM and Ajaccio and organized the trip. So his wish came true.
Eight-year-old football fan becomes victim of violent supporters
But the game quickly turned into a nightmare for the eight-year-old and his father. According to information from Corse Matin, the family watched the game in a box of the airline and wore the jersey of Marseille. During the match, some supporters of the home team suddenly approached the family.
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"Around 15 fans attacked my husband and slapped him twice in the face," the mother of the Marseille fan, who suffers from a brain tumor, told the portal. "Then they asked him to take off his jersey and burned it," she said, describing the shocking act of violence. Her eight-year-old son was then pushed and "hit his face against a chair. He was taken care of by the paramedic, was in shock and cried a lot," his mother shared the tragic fate of her young child. Afterwards, the boy was able to think "of nothing else than to get home as soon as possible".
The beautiful atmosphere in the AC Ajaccio stadium turned into blunt force against Marseille. © IMAGO/David Catry
Following the assault: many expressions of solidarity for a football fan suffering from cancer
However, distraction is likely to be provided by now. "We receive a lot of expressions of support and that comforts us," the mother told Corse Matin. Among other things, AC Ajaccio expressed its solidarity with the victims of the act. The association announced that it would "fully investigate these shameful acts." Such behavior "cannot excuse even the most extreme stupidity," said the Corsican club, which now has to go to Ligue 2.
But that's not all: a veritable wave of sympathy for the fate of the cancer-stricken boy and his father is now getting ready, ranging from Olympique Marseille to French President Emmanuel Macron. He strongly condemned the incidents and described them as "absolutely unacceptable". The boy's father has since filed a complaint. In addition, the prosecutor's office of the Corsican city opened an investigation for "violence in a gathering".
Just recently, a tragic incident at a football match made headlines: a 15-year-old junior footballer died. (wuc)