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 By PA Sport

EFL backs Blackpool request to deny ticket sales to Leyton Orient fans

Leyton Orient fans forced Saturday's game with Colchester to be halted, with play resumed nearly two hours later.

The English Football League has supported a request from League Two side Blackpool to suspend ticket sales to Leyton Orient fans for Saturday's final game of the season at Bloomfield Road.

Orient's 3-1 home defeat against Colchester on Saturday was suspended five minutes from time following a pitch invasion and sit-down protest by O's fans against owner Francesco Becchetti.

The protests lasted for more than an hour before the crowd were told the game had been abandoned and the stadium eventually cleared. However, the match was re-started almost two hours after it had been initially suspended and the final minutes were played out in front of empty stands.

Blackpool's Championship match with Huddersfield in May 2015 was abandoned following a pitch invasion by hundreds of protesting home fans, and the EFL says a decision over the Orient game was taken following a number of concerns raised by the Seasiders.

An EFL statement read: "The rationale for supporting this request is to allow sufficient time for a full review of the match day safety and security arrangements (and any options within these) against the certainty of knowing the specific number of tickets sold to date and in which areas of Bloomfield Road.

"The EFL's objective will always be to ensure that fans of both clubs are able to watch the match live, but in seeking to achieve this, we are required to consider all the contributing factors, to ensure that the safety of everyone at the game is not put at risk.

"Blackpool's concerns are not without foundation based on both the events that took place at Leyton Orient's Matchroom Stadium on Saturday evening and the fact that Blackpool themselves remain subject to a suspended charge following the failure to fulfil their Sky Bet Championship fixture against Huddersfield Town at Bloomfield Road on 2 May, 2015."

The EFL says a further update is expected on Tuesday after all the relevant parties have been given the opportunity to contribute.

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