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Ref praised for halting match over anti-gay banners

The coaches of Nice and Marseille and France's equality minister have all praised the referee who interrupted the Ligue 1 match on Wednesday because of anti-gay banners in the home crowd.

France's equality minister Marlene Schiappa said the banners had sullied the stands while Nice coach Patrick Vieira said referee Clement Turpin had been left with "no choice."

Play was stopped in the first half for around 10 minutes and players left the field over the banners displayed by Nice fans.

French media...

Ref halts Nice-Marseille over anti-gay banners

The Ligue 1 game between Nice and Marseille was halted for several minutes during the first half on Wednesday after the home fans unfurled two banners with anti-gay messages.

One banner referred to Tuesday's takeover of Nice by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe, Britain's richest man who is the owner of chemicals giant Ineos.

The banner displayed a play on words referring to the fact Ratcliffe also owns the Team Ineos cycling.

Another banner at the Allianz Riviera criticised French league authorities...

UK's richest man completes Nice takeover

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Julien Laurens thinks Neymar's options have become increasingly minimal and he'll most likely now remain in Paris.

French Ligue 1 outfit OGC Nice have been taken over by Ineos, the energy group run by British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe said in a statement.

Ineos, which has also owned Swiss second division side Lausanne since Nov. 2017, said Nice would be part of Ineos Football led by CEO Bob Ratcliffe and hoped the club would "sustainably compete at a European level" in the future.

The company bought out Britain's hugely successful cycling outfit Team Sky and changed its name to Team Ineos in May.

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UK's richest man given green light to buy Nice

Jim Ratcliffe
UK's richest man Sir Jim Ratcliffe will complete the purchase of French club Nice.

Sir Jim Ratcliffe, the richest man in the UK, has been given the final authorisation to complete his takeover of French football club Nice.

The French Competition and Markets Authority gave the green light on Wednesday so the operation can now go through.

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Ratcliffe, the founder and CEO of chemical giant Ineos, will now pay €100 million to owners Chien Lee and Alex Zheng to officially become the new boss of the club. The bank...