Football: Crowd trouble forces Bastia v Lyon game to be called off

Stewards and Lyon staff members try to stop Bastia's supporters who invaded the pitch to fight with Lyon players on April 16, 2017.
Stewards and Lyon staff members try to stop Bastia's supporters who invaded the pitch to fight with Lyon players on April 16, 2017. PHOTO: AFP

PARIS (REUTERS) - 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 half-time of the Ligue 1 clash.

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

At half-time 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 football's governing body, issued a statement condemning the trouble.

It decided to call off the match following consultations with local 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 half-time," it said in a statement.

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

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.

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.

"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 the Parc Olympique Lyonnais on Thursday kicked off 45 minutes late due to crowd trouble.

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

Lyon 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 first-leg quarter-final win.

Besiktas were charged with their fans responsible for setting off fireworks, throwing of objects and crowd disturbances.