Ligue 1: Lyon’s Game Against Bastia Abandoned, Marseille Batter Saint-Etienne
Paris, April 17 (IANS) Ligue 1 side Lyon were once again involved in a conflict as their match against bottom-ranked Bastia was abandoned following the Bastia fans’ attack on Lyon players, while sixth-ranked Marseille extended their lead to six points ahead of Saint-Etienne with a 4-0 home win.
Lyon players on Sunday were the target of about 50 home fans’ attack during their warm-up, and the game had to be delayed for more than 50 minutes and then abandoned, reports Xinhua news agency.
However, after the first half ended 0-0, fans once again invaded the pitch and attacked the Lyon players, allegedly because of Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes’ confrontation with an official from the Bastia club. The French professional football league (LFP) immediately called an end to the game.
It was only after around 100 Bastia fans at the gates were dispersed with tear gas, that the Lyon players could leave from the stadium on their team bus.
Bastia were expected to face a point deduction for their fans’ inappropriate behaviour. They saw one point deducted and the East Stand closed for three games as their fans used racist abuse targeted at Nice striker Mario Balotelli in February.
“Whatever, it’s a shame,” tweeted Lyon’s top scorer Alexandre Lacazette.
In a statement, the Bastia club felt it a “regret” that the match was abandoned, but they respected the LFP’s decision.
Lyon’s Europa League home clash with Besiktas on Thursday was tainted by fans’ conflict both inside and outside the stadium, before Lyon fans went onto the pitch for fear of being hit by firecrackers and other objects falling down from the stands above. The kick-off had to be delayed for around 50 minutes.
Lyon owned a two-point advantage in hand against Bordeaux, who edged past Nantes 1-0. However, trailing Nice by 19 points with six games to play, Lyon saw no chance of a podium finish for next season’s Champions League berth.
Also on Sunday, Marseille took on Florian Thauvin’s brace for a 4-0 victory over Saint-Etienne in the sixth place contest.
Top scorer Bafetimbi Gomis brought his league tally to 17 goals, and Dimitri Payet added the fourth in stoppage time.
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