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29 Sep, 2023 17:51

Footballer ‘safe’ after threatening suicide – media

Alexis Beka Beka was convinced to end the standoff by emergency workers and his club’s psychologist, reports indicate
Footballer ‘safe’ after threatening suicide – media

Alexis Beka Beka, a midfielder who plays for Ligue 1 team OGC Nice, has been safely removed from a viaduct in the French city into the care of emergency workers after reportedly threatening to end his own life on Friday, according to media reports.

“We are, above all, relieved that everything ended well today for Alexis,” OGC Nice said in a Friday statement. “It was taken care of. We will continue to respect medical confidentiality and we ask everyone to do the same and respect their privacy. We support him.”

The 22-year-old footballer was safely removed from a 100-meter-high section of the Magnan Viaduct in Nice on Friday afternoon. Beka Beka had reportedly approached the section of bridge after stopping his car on the hard shoulder of a motorway.

He was was taken into the care of emergency workers following several hours of negotiations with police and a psychologist who had been dispatched to the scene by OGC Nice, according to French media outlet BFMTV. Emergency workers first made contact with the footballer at 11am.

A report by Nice-Matin stated that he had become suicidal following the breakup of a romantic relationship, though this has been denied by the player’s representatives. “The stories about the romantic breakup are false. This has absolutely nothing to do with it and is out of context,” the player’s agent said, according to the Daily Mail.

OGC Nice canceled a regularly-scheduled press conference with coach Francesco Farioli on Friday, the Daily Mail reporting that “crisis talks” were going on behind the scenes at the club. Training sessions will continue as planned but all press events have been canceled and the media have been asked to leave the team’s training facility.

OGC Nice are scheduled to play a Ligue 1 fixture on Sunday against Brest, whose manager Eric Roy wished Beka Beka well at a Friday press event. “I would like to give, as well as the entire club, my support to Nice with regard to the current events. I am hoping that it ends as well as possible. My heart goes out to them,” he said.

Beka Beka joined OGC Nice in August 2022 in a €14 million ($14.8 million) transfer from Russian Premier League team Lokomotiv Moscow. He made 28 appearances during his time in the Russian capital.