Olympique de Nîmes: for Rani Assaf, the conflict with the “Gladiators 91” is “rotting the life and image of the club”

For more than three hours, this Saturday, September 24, President Rani Assaf discussed with some three hundred supporters of the crocodile, installed in a platform in Costières.

Organized this Saturday, September 24, the question and answer exercise between the president of Olympique de Nîmes Rani Assaf and the fans, some three hundred gathered at the presidential basket of the Costières stadium, has long been a dialogue of the deaf. The debates, which lasted more than three and a half hours, crystallized in the conflict between the club and the Gladiators, who also left the stadium on the way.

Muscular and tense exchanges

The exchanges were often tense. “The sectarian, despotic, arrogant and provocative side” of Mr. Assaf was singled out by several speakers, one of them even baptizing him “president of disenchantment”. At the end of this meeting, which ended with a more peaceful dialogue with a handful of supporters who played extra time, President Assaf made a quick initial assessment.

What is your feeling at the end of this exchange with the fans? Was it constructive?

Constructive, perhaps not 100% but, in any case, we have made progress, we have been able to discuss. This is the first time that I manage to exchange with the entire group of LARPs. They left because they still don’t agree, but we took the time to discuss with the other supporters in a constructive way and discuss other issues because it’s not just about LARP. It is an enriching experience, both for them and for me. An unprecedented experience, I think, that will have to be renewed. It’s hard, it’s not easy, but you have to have the courage to do it because it’s something important.

#football “Although Rani does not want to, here we are”, sing the Gladiators who abandoned the discussions and left the Costières. Surreal. President Assaf continues to answer questions amid chants… pic.twitter.com/byS6uFu1NV

– Midi Libre Nimes (@MidiLibreNimes) September 24, 2022

Is it a disappointment not to have reached an agreement with the Gladiators?

No, because that’s not where I expected to find an agreement with them. We talk again all week. There is still a stumbling block, we are not far away. There are people at home who are convinced, others are not. There is still a misunderstanding at one point. I think we will get there, we still have to discuss. They have a step to take, it may be a big step for them, but they have to take it.

Do you understand that the Gladiators do not want to assume as an association the smoke output of one or two fans?

Yes, I understand, there is no problem with that. On the other hand, they must take a public position on the subject, in writing.

The fans took the floor to express their love for Nîmes Olympique, what do you think?

It’s moving. I take everything into account. I understand that there is disappointment. We wanted to talk about other topics and immediately jumped to the topic of LARPs. That means that this subject, unconsciously, is rotting the life of the club and its entire image. Due to this conflict, we create a poisonous atmosphere around the club.

You have been called “president of disenchantment” by a sympathizer…

You have to let people say what they want. I know what I like, I know what I do. It is my actions that will show my love for the club.

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