Nice punishes winger Saint-Maximin for pulling out of game

NICE, France (AP) — Nice has imposed disciplinary measures on winger Allan Saint-Maximin after he declared himself unable to play last weekend, despite not consulting the club’s doctor.

Nice did not give details on the sanctions, but French media reports said Saint-Maximin was fined.

Coach Patrick Vieira publicly criticized Saint-Maximin after the 3-0 loss to Angers in the French league on Saturday night. Saint-Maximin then hit back at Vieira’s comments on his Twitter account and said he was genuinely ill.

The club said in a statement Tuesday that Saint-Maximin had complained of stomach pains and sent a text message overnight Friday to say he was pulling out of the match. A club doctor then visited the player at his home and told Vieira that his absence was not justifiable on medical grounds.

The 21-year-old Saint-Maximin — Nice’s best player in attack this season — was summoned Tuesday morning to speak with Vieira and club president Gauthier Ganaye.

He was reminded of his obligations and notified of his punishment, the club said, adding that the player accepted the decision.