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Police probe death threats against French League boss


French Professional Footbally League President Frederic Thiriez (AFP Photo/Pascal Pochard)

French Professional Footbally League President Frederic Thiriez (AFP Photo/Pascal Pochard)

The Paris prosecutor’s office have opened an investigation into death threats made against Professional Football League (LFP) president Frederic Thiriez by Bastia fans, judicial sources told AFP on Thursday.

Thiriez, 62, made the complaint to police on Wednesday after threats made on social media, notably Twitter, sometimes in the Corsican language, before Saturday’s League Cup final which Bastia lost 4-0 to Paris Saint-Germain.

Graffiti was also scrawled on the Fontaine des Innocents in central Paris which declared that Thiriez would “go the same way as Erignac” in reference to Claude Erignac, the Prefect of Corsica who was assassinated in Ajaccio in 1998.

The preliminary investigation by police into “death threats in writing” will try to identify the authors of the threatening tweets.

Tensions between Thiriez and Corsican fans were further enflamed when the LFP boss did not go to shake the players’ hands before kick-off as is usually the case.

Bastia president Pierre Marie Geronimi accused Thiriez of being “an anti-Corsican racist” which the LNP boss denied.

Corsican fans are angered that the LFP has refused an initiative to play no more games on May 5 to honour the memory of the 18 people killed when a temporary stand at Bastia’s Stade Furiani collapsed before a match in 1992.

Bastia have also slammed as disproportionate sanctions meted out on the club in recent years by the LFP disciplinary commission.

“I’ve always had an immense respect for this club, but they hold it against us in Paris, because the League is in Paris,” Thiriez said on French radio.

Struggling in Ligue 1, Bastia fell 2-0 at Lyon on Wednesday night, leaving them 14th just two points above the drop zone, as they fight for top flight status next season.

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