Fans involved in Bastia-Lyon brawl face five years in prison - prosecutor
Bastia's public prosecutor has vowed to bring to justice the hooligans who assaulted Lyon players and caused the abandonment of Sunday's Ligue 1 match in Corsica.
The game between Bastia and Lyon, whose kickoff was delayed by 50 minutes by attacks on the visiting players during the warm-up, was abandoned at half-time after home supporters had invaded the pitch a second time and attacked three OL players.
The trio, goalkeepers Anthony Lopes and Mathieu Gorgelin and forward Jean-Philippe Mateta, as well as teammate Jordan Ferri and team doctor Emmanuel Orhant have already given testimony, and prosecutor Nicolas Bessone promised those responsible for the incident would be held to account.
"They are facts of a certain gravity and importance," he told media. "I have charged the county's public safety directorate [DDSP] with the investigation. There are a certain number of witness statements to be gathered. The position of the Bastia prosecutor's office is this: speed, determination but not haste."
He added that his office was "determined to find the individuals responsible," and noted they face between three to five years in prison if convicted as well as a five-year stadium ban.
Bastia have also filed a lawsuit against the fans. The Corsican club also announced in a statement on Tuesday that all the supporters who will be identified will be banned from attending matches "for the maximum amount of time."
Club officials have been summoned to a discipline hearing at the French league on Thursday. Last-placed Bastia, who have struggled the whole season, risk seeing their slim hopes of staying in the top flight hit by heavy sanctions, possibly including a points deduction.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas had accused Bastia's head of security, Anthony Agostini, of provoking the on-pitch brawl at the end of a goalless first half that eventually led to the game being called off by referee Amaury Delerue.
Speaking to RMC, Agostini said he would be making a defamation case against Aulas, and denied he had done anything other than try to defuse the situation.
"I can't let that go," Agostini said. "The TV images show it clearly. At half-time, I calmly went to see Anthony Lopes to ask him to calm down and not get anyone's temper up. He insulted someone in my family and tried to punch me."
Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman