Nice announced on Friday that their Ligue 1 home clash with Paris Saint-Germain this weekend will be played behind closed doors after a tightening of coronavirus restrictions on the Cote d’Azure.
Nice had hoped to admit 5,000 fans on Sunday, but the club said that it “regrets to inform its public that the match against Paris Saint-Germain will be played behind closed doors.”
It is “a tough blow for the fans”, said club president Jean-Pierre Rivere.
Nice opened their league season against Lens behind closed doors, but had started to sell tickets for their second home game.
On Friday morning Bernard Gonzalez, the prefect of the Maritime Alps area of France, announced that gatherings could not exceed 1,000.
Asked about the Nice-PSG game Gonzalez replied: “Shouldn’t we go towards a match played behind closed doors?”
“I have given you the equation, it is easy to understand,” he added.
Rivere later announced that he had done the sums and reached the same conclusion.
“Once you add up the whole organisation, you practically reach this figure,” said Rivere. “We are sad. Football without any supporters is not the same thing.”
He also apologised to fans for taking this decision “two days before the match.”
“There is nothing worse than blowing hot and cold like that. We are truly sorry”.
On Thursday, Marseille hosted Saint-Etienne in front of only 1,000 spectators after also having initially hoped to admit 5,000.