Former Head of Soccer Club Shot Outside His Home
BASTIA, Corsica (AP) _ The former president of a soccer club who faced trial for murder in connection with the collapse of stadium seating was shot and killed outside his home on Monday.
Jean-Francois Filippi, 52, and his wife had just gotten into their car when a hidden gunman shot him in the throat with a hunting rifle, killing him instantly, police said. His wife Genevieve, 50, was wounded, they said.
Police said that while the killing could be connected with the 1992 stadium disaster, they had not ruled out a personal political vendetta. Police said they had no suspects.
Filippi is also mayor of the town of Luciana, just south of Bastia, the capital of northern Corsica.
As president of the Corsican team, Filippi was considered responsible for the construction of temporary seating for a French Cup semifinal match between Bastia and Olympic Marseille, the country’s most popular team.
The seating collapsed before a match in May 1992, killing 15 people and injuring more than 2,000.
Filippi was due to go on trial on charges of involuntary homicide in early January. Thirteen others also were charged in the accident.
After the accident, Filippi was detained for several months and received several death threats when he was released. In 1993, bombs were set off in cars parked outside his home.
However, he was the target of assassination attempts even before the collapse, including one in 1989 in which he was wounded in the arm and his deputy was killed.
The words ″Filippi Assassin″ have appeared on walls around Bastia recently.