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Saturday 10 January 2015

Another view of #OGCNFCL

The first match of the year at Allianz Riviera took place in very unusual circumstances. OGC Nice were at home to FC Lorient for the 20th round of the League 1 championship season.

After the traditional pre-match events, such as Jean-Philippe Mattio's signing session at the Café des Aiglons, the mini concert by the group P.O.C.S on the esplanade, and Mèfi's flight before kick-off, the one who was expected and particularly visible in the Allianz Riviera stands was not the one we thought. And yet, Hatem Ben Arfa, Le Gym's new signing, was there in the stadium's stands because of an international transfer certificate received too late by the French Football Federation. The curious might have been disappointed not to see him on the pitch, but this all seemed rather trivial in the face of the spectators' homage to Charlie Hebdo. As testimony to the emotions stirred up by the attacks in Paris, all the Nice supporters were Charlie for one symbolic minute. During this minute, each visitor was invited to hold up the emblematic "Je suis Charlie" (I am Charlie) poster distributed by the club. In a show of solidarity, the players of both teams and the referees wore a black armband during the match.

A match that ended in a superb 3–1 win for Les Aiglons; an act of defiance demonstrating that, despite everything, "The show must go on".

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