Italian coach Francesco Farioli appealed to the humanity of everyone in football after his OGC Nice player Alexis Beka Beka threatened suicide. ‘Mental health must not be a taboo conversation.’
The football world was shaken yesterday when it emerged that a man who had climbed over the railings of the bridge linking France to Italy and was for hours threatening to throw himself into the void was Nice player Beka Beka.
He was convinced to come back down and is now receiving treatment, so all eyes were on Farioli holding his press conference today.
“This certainly is not a pre-match day like any other. Yesterday’s events touched us all: team, staff, club and in general everyone in the world of football.
“Fortunately, we are here talking, Alexis is safe and receiving all the treatment he needs. I want to underline the work of our psychologist Sophie, who in recent months has been dealing with his situation with great sensibility.
“Too often people think that football players are just superstars, but they are human beings like everyone else. We saw the difficulties that many other famous sports figures have gone through and mental health must not be a taboo conversation. We should all show sensitivity.
“We must all try to do our best to make the lives of those around us better. All we ask now is that Alexis’ privacy be respected, he has to work through this and should be allowed to do that in his own time.”
Farioli is only 34 years old and never had a real playing career, becoming first a goalkeeping coach, then an assistant manager and advisor.
He took the reins for the first time at Turkish club Karagumruk in March 2021, moving on to Alanyaspor in December that year.
Farioli was appointed as the coach of Ligue 1 side OGC Nice in July 2023.