France remembers Furiani victims
There is no football in France this Saturday (May 5) after clubs across the country agreed to move fixtures in order to pay homage to the victims of the Furiani Stadium disaster of 1992.
Ligue 2 played their allotted games on Friday night while the top division will fulfill its games on Sunday and Monday.
Twenty years ago French and European football was shocked to the core when a temporary stand collapsed just before the Coupe de France semi-final between Corsican side SC Bastia and Olympique de Marseille. Eighteen people were killed and more than 2,000 were injured.
Subsequent investigations and court cases lead to the imprisonment of the owner of the construction company responsible for the stand and the Bastia vice-president while members of the French football federation received suspended sentences.
Next week a Corsican selection will play a commemorative match against a local youth team and then in August, Bastia will play Liverpool, a club equally touched by tragedy. Families from Liverpool are still fighting for justice 23 years on from the Hillsborough disaster of 1989 which saw 96 fans crushed to death after a wall collapsed.
There are moves to make May 5 a permanent non-footballing day in France. Marseille coach Didier Deschamps, who was an OM player in 1992, has said it would be "a good thing" to make the anniversary of the disaster a day of rememberance every year from now on.
Fittingly perhaps given the timing, Bastia gained promotion earlier this week when a 3-0 win over Metz assured they would finish as second division champions. The Corsicans can now look forward to playing Ligue 1 football once again, after a seven-year absence.