Evening Update Monday 23 August 2021

Fallout continues after last night’s dramatic and chaotic home derby between OGC Nice and Olympic Marseilles at the Allianz Riviera stadium. Toward the end of the game, as Nice were leading one-nil, fans threw bottles at Marseilles Dimitri Payet as he was about to take a corner. After being hit in the back, the player picked up a bottle and threw it back at the crowd. This caused home fans to overpower the stewards, and invade the pitch where a brawl broke out between the players of the two teams, supporters and staff. At one point the presidents of each club almost came to blows, grabbing each other by the collars, before bodyguards separated them.

The match was suspended for an hour and a half, but despite calm being restored Marseilles refused to return to the pitch, saying their safety could not be guaranteed. At that point the match was abandoned.

Reactions this morning include French Sports Minister who said a red line had been crossed in terms of violence against players, calling what happened an insult for sport and football. The Mayor of Nice Christian Estrosi said the violence was unacceptable and sanctions must be taken by the French football league once they decide who was responsible.

However, President of OGC Nice Jean-Pierre Rivere says some of the blame must rest with Marseilles as it was the reaction of their players which ignited the clashes. He added it was deplorable that Marseille security staff intervened on the ground and hit some OGC Nice players.

The Nice Prosecutor's Office has opened an investigation and both clubs have been summoned to appear in front of the French leagues disciplinary commission this Wednesday.

One week after it began, the fire in the Var is finally officially under control but a mistral wind building  this afternoon could a new outbreak. The Prefectures of the Var and the Bouche-du-Rhone have closed all massifs and kept the fire alert at ‘very severe’. Almost a thousand fire fighters remain on the scene monitoring the situation.

Meanwhile, a 56-year-old man is being questioned by police after attempting to start a fire on the Massif des Maures. According to reports the man was reported to police after witnesses attempted to prevent him from lighting the fire.

There were two small plane crashes in the mountains over the weekend. The first came down on the ski area of ​​Vars, while two hours later, a second Cessna crashed near the hamlet of Sainte-Catherine. The occupants of both planes were transported by helicopter to hospital, where they are recovering.

France’s Education Minister has announced that the health pass will not be required in schools for either students or teachers. Jean Michel Blanquer explained there will be a vaccination campaign in colleges and high schools from September, masks will be compulsory indoors from primary school, and in case of contamination in a classroom, the seven-day isolation period will not be required for vaccinated pupils.

And in Monaco, from today the health pass is to be extended in the Principality to enter restaurants and bars. However, given the lower risk of contamination outdoors, the health pass will not be required for Monegasques, residents or Monaco employees wishing to sit on the fully open terrace of a restaurant or bar.

BUSINESS

The euro zone economy lost some momentum in August but is still on track for solid growth in the third quarter, according to preliminary data released today. The IHS Markit ‘PMI Index, hit a two-month low of 59.5 in August versus 60.2 in July. However a reading above 50 represents an expansion in economic activity.

PayPal have announced it will allow people in the UK to buy digital currencies including BitCoin on its platform. Bitcoin has seen a resurgence over the summer with it hitting a three month high of €43,000 a coin at the weekend.  

Chinese electric car maker BYD's plan to sell shares in its computer chip making unit has been suspended  due to an investigation into the law firm advising the company. BYD Semiconductor had aimed to raise at least $400m from the sale which it planned to invest back into the business as global carmakers struggle with a shortage of computer chips. The firm is China's largest maker of microcontroller chips for cars.

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