Lyon Chief Thanks Faultless Bastia Players For Protecting Depay And Co As Match Was Called Off Due To Pitch Invasions
The Ligue 1 clash between Bastia and Lyon at the Armand Cesari stadium was called off due to repeated pitch invasions by home fans.
Before the match hundreds of Bastia fans stormed the field after an argument between Memphis Depay and a Local ultra.
The footage showed a home steward attacking Lyon defender Mouctar Diakhaby.
And as fans continued to stream from the stands to join in the violence, Lyon players and officials made their way off the field. They were chased by supporters right until they reached the tunnel.
Lyon refused to play after being caught up in the attack, but eventually agreed to start the match when order appeared to have been restored.
Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes was involved in a physical confrontation on the pitch as he made his way into the dressing room at the break.
The whole scenario changed after a fan ran onto the pitch towards Lopes, during the half time break.
Lyon President Aulas in bits after the 1st attack on his players today. A man with an exceptional love for his club. pic.twitter.com/QIbhhvLatk
— Get French Football (@GFFN) April 16, 2017
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas said: “The Bastia Security Director hit Anthony Lopes.
“The Bastia players were irreproachable, they protected us.”
The match started shortly before 6pm local time when Lyon took to the field for the second time.
The away side were applauded by most home supporters and each member of their squad was embraced by the Lyon president, Jean-Michel Aulas.
After the match was called off, Lyon’s struggled to make it out of the Stade Armand Cesari as the bus was also under attack.
Officials from the league and Bastia released statements in the aftermath of the abandonment.
The Bastia statement said: ‘The Sporting Club de Bastia strongly condemns the incidents that marked the meeting this Sunday against Olympique Lyonnais.
‘The club regrets the match counting was not able to be completed but respects the decision of the LFP and its officials.
‘The Sporting Club de Bastia is already gathering all the elements necessary to take the necessary and strong measures following these incidents. And will appear without delay at a meeting of the disciplinary committee of the LFP on Thursday in order to provide all the evidence required.’
SC Bastia – Olympique Lyonnais définitivement arrêté. Communiqué de la LFP ➡ https://t.co/HUhXlxjxJ6
— LFP (@LFPfr) April 16, 2017
A statement from the French Football League (LFP) read: ‘Following the new incident at the end of the first period, the LFP decided to stop SC Bastia / Olympique Lyonnais.
‘Following the very serious incidents that occurred during the warm-up, the DDSP (Departmental Director of Public Security) had indeed decided to play the game but to stop it at the slightest incident.
‘The LFP condemns in the strongest possible terms the incidents which occurred before the match and at half-time of the match SC Bastia / Olympique Lyonnais.’