Lens wins in the French championship and promotes the message of peace in Ukraine


Lens swapped its traditional “blood and gold” colors for the blue and yellow of the Ukrainian flag on Saturday in a 3-1 victory over Clermont in the French league.

Lens normally plays in red and yellow. The northern club said their message was to promote peace after Russia invaded Ukraine. The Lens players wore yellow shorts as well as blue jerseys bearing the word “Peace” written in the six languages ​​spoken in the team’s dressing room. The outside walls of the hosts’ stadium were also decorated in yellow and blue.

Lens recovered from a goal to move up to seventh place in the standings.

Elbasan Rashani caught a cold on the hosts with a left-footed shot to put Clermont ahead after eight minutes. Kevin Danso equalized from a corner before Florian Sotoca put Lens in charge deep in first-half stoppage time from a tight angle.

Massadio Haidara sealed the rebound victory after Jonathan Clauss’ effort hit the post near the hour mark.

Clauss was influential throughout and received a standing ovation when he left the pitch with a minute to go, two days after receiving his first call-up to the France team.

The special shirts will be auctioned next week on a digital platform while 500 replicas will be sold in local supermarkets. Lens said the money from the sales will be used to fund a convoy of essential goods to Ukraine, and stressed the importance of “tolerance, solidarity and peace” in a statement.

Reigning champions Lille brushed aside the disappointment of their Champions League exit – at the hands of Chelsea – with a 1-0 win at Nantes that revived their hopes of European football next season.

The sixth clean sheet in a row lifted Lille into sixth place, just four points behind Marseille and Lille, who are vying for a runners-up spot this season behind PSG.

Lille were reduced to 10 men in the 64th minute following Timothy Weah’s direct red card. The American striker was sent off after a VAR decision for a tackle on Samuel Moutoussamy, who left the field injured.

Amadou Onana scored the winner from a corner with his first league goal in the 41st minute.

PSG, who are 15 points clear at the top of the standings, play Sunday in Monaco.


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William D. Babcock

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