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Bastia v Lyon called off as home fans invade pitch

Bastia v Lyon called off as home fans invade pitch
By Reuters

17/04/2017 at 03:26Updated 17/04/2017 at 04:28

Olympique Lyonnais' game at SC Bastia was abandoned on Sunday after their goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was attacked by a group of home fans as he left the pitch at halftime of the Ligue 1 clash.

The start of the match had already been delayed by nearly an hour when the Bastia supporters charged the visiting team during their warm-up, forcing Lyon's players to flee the pitch.

At halftime several fans attacked Lopes as he headed for the dressing room, with the score at 0-0, and the game was called off 30 minutes after the second half was due to have begun.

The LFP (Ligue de Football Professionnel), French soccer's governing body, issued a statement condemning the trouble.

It decided to call off the match following consultations with local Corsican authorities in charge of public safety.

“The LFP condemns in the strongest possible terms the incidents that took place both before the SC Bastia/Olympique Lyon match, and during halftime,” it said in a statement.

The match was due to start at 1500 GMT but was delayed after the Corsican club's fans charged onto the field at the Stade Armand Cesari and threw punches at the visiting players.

Stewards and Lyon staff members try to stop Bastia's supporters who invade the pitch to fight with Lyon players during warm up prior to the French L1 Football match between Bastia (SCB) and Lyon (OL) on April 16, 2017, at the Armand Cesari stadium, in Bas

Stewards and Lyon staff members try to stop Bastia's supporters who invade the pitch to fight with Lyon players during warm up prior to the French L1 Football match between Bastia (SCB) and Lyon (OL) on April 16, 2017, at the Armand Cesari stadium, in BasGetty Images

Lyon published a tweet on their official account which read: "Bastia supporters have come on to the field to square up to Lyon players who were finishing their warm-up."

The Lyon players returned to the pitch nearly 40 minutes later and the match eventually kicked off shortly before 1600.

Former Lyon player Jeremy Berthod told the club’s official TV station that Bastia fans threw balls at visiting reserve keeper Mathieu Gorgelin's goal as he warmed up.

The balls were thrown back by Lyon forward Memphis Depay before the players were attacked by Bastia supporters.

Lyon's Brazilian defender Rafael da Silva (R) and Lyon's midfielder Jordan Ferri (L) talk with Lyon's staff on the pitch after scuffles erupted at half-time between some of Lyon's players and Bastia supporters who invaded the pitch, during the French L1 f

Lyon's Brazilian defender Rafael da Silva (R) and Lyon's midfielder Jordan Ferri (L) talk with Lyon's staff on the pitch after scuffles erupted at half-time between some of Lyon's players and Bastia supporters who invaded the pitch, during the French L1 fGetty Images

The players managed to get together. Both they and the coaching staff are very shocked,” said Berthod.

The LFP said it had asked SC Bastia to re-examine their security arrangements and take all measures necessary to ensure that those responsible were banned from the stadium.

The league added that its disciplinary committee would consider what action to take over the incidents at the stadium.

It is the second time in a week that Lyon have been involved in a match with ugly scenes involving fans after their Europa League clash with Besiktas at Parc Olympique Lyonnais on Thursday kicked off 45 minutes late due to crowd trouble.

European soccer's governing body UEFA began disciplinary action against Lyon and Turkish opponents Besiktas on Friday.

The French club was charged with insufficient organisation and a breach of safety regulations as their supporters blocked stairways, set off fireworks and invaded the pitch after a 2-1 win in the first leg of the quarter-final. Turkish club Besiktas were charged after the setting off fireworks, throwing of objects and crowd disturbances.

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