PARIS: Bastia’s hooligan fans created more trouble and notoriety after a pitch invasion forced the halftime abandonment of their French league match in Corsica against Lyon.

After kick-off was delayed by 55 minutes, the game was stopped for good when more trouble erupted at the interval with the score 0-0.

The Lyon goalkeeper, Anthony Lopes, had been calmly walking off the pitch after referee Amaury Delerue signalled the end of the first half when he was confronted by a man. Lopes pushed him back as clashes erupted between home fans and Lyon players.

Television pictures had earlier shown the Lyon players running off the pitch and returning to their dressing-room to escape the fans. They initially refused to take to the pitch but were eventually persuaded to start before further incident caused the game to be abandoned.

Reports in France claimed the Lyon players had boarded the team bus but were forced to return to the changing room after Corsican authorities were unable to guarantee their safety.

Defender Jeremy Berthod said: “Bastia fans kicked balls into [Mathieu] Gorgelin’s goal. He and Memphis [Depay] tried to move them out of the way before being attacked by many Bastia fans. The players then huddled together.
“They and the staff are very shocked. The moment it happened, none of them wanted to come out of the dressing room and play this match.”


The French league said its disciplinary commission would investigate and urged Bastia to ban the fans responsible.

A statement said: “The French league is asking Bastia to take all necessary measures in order to issue stadium bans against those responsible for these acts and, more generally, to take all measures required to guarantee security.”

In February, Bastia were ordered to close part of their stadium for thre matches after a group of supporters shouted racist insults at the Nice striker Mario Balotelli during a 1-1 draw in January.

It was the second time in a week that Lyon had faced hooligan problems, after crowd trouble before Thursday’s Europa League game in Lyon against Turkish club Besiktas which is being investigated by UEFA.

** Trouble erupted in Switzerland where hooligans attacked the team bus of second-division Servette as it headed home from an away match. The team’s two drivers were injured by broken glass.

Police in Aargau canton said on Sunday that the incident happened at a highway rest area on Saturday evening. The Servette players were returning home from a match at Wil.

As they were about to set off, another bus containing fans of first-division Sion arrived. They attacked the Servette bus, damaging the front and side windows. Police say they arrived at the scene quickly and brought the situation under control.