Wed, Feb 01, 2017 - Page 7 News List

Sertic receives deaths threats over Marseille move


Girondins de Bordeaux’s Gregory Sertic acknowledges the fans after his side’s Ligue 1 match against Metz in Longeville-les-Metz, France, on Sept. 21 last year.

Photo: AFP

Girondins de Bordeaux midfielder Gregory Sertic has received the full support of France’s National Union of Professional Footballers (UNFP) after he was subjected to death threats over a proposed move to Olympique de Marseille.

Bordeaux said on Sunday they had temporarily placed Sertic under protection after the 27-year-old, according to regional daily Sud Ouest, received threatening messages at his home.

“To reassure the player, we put him under protection during [Saturday’s] trip to [AS] Nancy [Lorraine],” Bordeaux president Jean-Louis Triaud said. “We also monitored his house, but the protection has since been lifted.”

The UNFP criticized the treatment of the player, while praising Bordeaux for acting swiftly to guarantee his safety.

“So a player was threatened with death for expressing his desire for a change of scenery and his club, taking things very seriously and so much the better, had to work to protect him. Him and his partner,” the UNFP said.

The union also issued its “unconditional support” for Anthony Mounier, whose transfer from Bologna to AS Saint-Etienne provoked a strong backlash from a section of supporters.

Reports in France suggested his loan deal would be canceled, with Mounier an unpopular arrival at Saint-Etienne having come up through the academy at bitter rivals Olympique Lyonnais.

Mounier is also reported to have received death threats, via both “social media and over the phone,” Le Parisien reported.

Meanwhile, struggling Ligue 1 side Montpellier Herault removed their coach Frederic Hantz on Monday in the wake of their 5-1 demolition by Marseille.

Hantz was “provisionally suspended” almost a year to the day after his appointment as the club conducted “an urgent review to find a solution” to their plight.

Friday last week’s heavy defeat by their south-coast neighbors left Montpellier sixth from bottom, one point above the relegation zone.

The club has placed Hantz on gardening leave as a mood of crisis envelops Montpellier, with a club statement declaring the situation “serious.”

Jean-Louis Gasset, a long-time assistant to Laurent Blanc with France, Paris Saint-Germain and Bordeaux, is to work alongside former SC Bastia coach Ghislain Printant as Montpellier decide on a permanent successor.

Aside from their problems in the league, Montpellier were knocked out of the Coupe de France last month after losing 5-0 to Lyon.

Hantz has born the brunt of public criticism from club president Louis Nicollin, who said after the loss to Lyon: “I’m asking myself questions about the coaching. We don’t have the means to sack him [Hantz], but it’s up to him to do his job.”

Hantz is under contract until June next year.

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