French soccer game abandoned after spectator chaos
Fans at the Paris FC and Lyon game in the capital’s Charlety Stadium threw flares and detonated fireworks just before the second half.
The French cup game between Lyon and Paris FC was abandoned due to crowd violence on Friday, stadium authorities announced at the beginning of the second half. The score at the time was 1-1.
Supporters were seen throwing flares, the field was invaded and fights broke out in the stands. Fireworks were detonated just before the second half.
The incident marked the second time a match involving Lyon was abandoned this season.
Paris FC president blames Lyon ultras
The president of Paris FC, Pierre Ferracci, blamed the incident on Lyon supporters.
“There’s a bunch of idiots who ruined everything, as usual,” Ferracci said. “And that bunch of idiots, it’s the Lyon ultras.”
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said that Lyon was not wholly responsible.
“There are obviously shared responsibilities,” Aulas told a news conference. “I don’t think that we are responsible for the incidents.”
A spectator described the incident to the sport station RMC, saying that “at halftime, there were guys behind
“There were a lot of people wearing balaclavas, they had belts, they wanted to smash as many faces as they could,” he added.
“I don’t know if they can be called supporters, but it’s a big part of the Lyon section that caused a huge crowd rush.”
Lyon supporters are under scrutiny after a French league home game was abandoned in November because Marseille player Dimitri Payet was hit on the head by a bottle of water thrown from the stands.
Lyon was docked a point and Aulas was handed a 10-game ban for intimidating comments he made to the referee.
This season has seen a number of incidents involving fans since August, including a Nice-Marseille match that was abandoned, and another match where Montpellier fans threw projectiles at Marseille players.
In September, fans ran onto the pitch during an Angers-Marseille match, as well as in a Lens-Lille match.
wd, sdi/fb (Reuters, AP, AFP)