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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Bastia-Lyon match abandoned after fans attack players on pitch

Lyon's match at Bastia was abandoned at halftime after fans invaded the pitch and attacked Lyon players on multiple occasions.
The Europa League match between Lyon and Besiktas was delayed about 45 minutes after crowd violence spilled onto the pitch.

The Ligue 1 match between Bastia and Lyon was abandoned after home fans invaded the pitch at the Stade Armand Cesari and attacked players on two occasions.

Kickoff had been delayed by almost an hour after Bastia fans came onto the pitch and appeared to attempt to attack Lyon players as they warmed up. Stewards ushered the players away.

The visitors were persuaded to go ahead with the match after initially refusing to do so, but a further incident as the teams tried to leave the pitch at half-time meant the game was abandoned.

In a statement condemning what happened, the French Football League (LFP) said: "Following the 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 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.''

Shortly before Sunday's scheduled 4 p.m. BST kick-off time, Lyon tweeted that "Bastia fans had entered the pitch to attack the Lyon players who were finishing their warm-up."

Further tweets from the club's official account said: "The Bastia supporters were chucking balls at [goalkeeper Mathieu] Gorgelin's goal.

"He and Memphis [Depay] started throwing them back... before a lot of Bastia supporters attacked them.

"The players all huddled together. They and the staff were all very shocked.

"None of them wanted to come back out of the changing room and play the match."

L'Equipe journalist Vincent Duluc was quoted on the OLTV account as saying: "Memphis was pushed by a supporter.

"Lots of them had been throwing balls at the players and they just started pushing them and then a fight broke out. I've never seen anything like it in 30 years."

Lyon players, including goalkeeper Mathieu Gorgelin, are confronted on the pitch.

The trouble reignited after the first period had finished goalless, with Lyon tweeting: "Once again there are scuffles after the whistle. Anthony Lopes has been taken to task by fans on the pitch."

Lyon striker Alexandre Lacazette, who was not in the squad, tweeted: "Shameful! Nonsense!" Teammate Corentin Tolisso wrote: "It's shameful."

The Independent quoted Lyon coach Bruno Genesio as saying: "It is distressing to see such incidents. This is the reverse of what should happen.

"We are here to give pleasure to people, and not to see that."

It was the second time Lyon have endured fan trouble in a week, with their Europa League home meeting with Besiktas on Thursday delayed after visiting supporters threw missiles and fireworks at home supporters, forcing them onto the pitch.

UEFA has opened disciplinary proceedings against Lyon and Besiktas, and there is likely be an LFP investigation into what happened at Bastia.

Bastia, bottom of the Ligue 1 table, came under scrutiny earlier this season after a fan was banned for allegedly racially abusing Nice striker Mario Balotelli.

And Paris Saint-Germain forward Lucas Moura was struck by an object thrown from the stands when he took a corner during a league match at the club's ground in August.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report.

Follow @ESPNFC on Twitter to keep up with the latest football updates.

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