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 By PA Sport

St Etienne withdraw appeal, will play Rennes behind closed doors

Manchester United will visit the Stade Geoffrey-Guichard in the Europa League round of 32.
The Stade Geoffroy-Guichard stands will be empty when Rennes visit.

St Etienne's home game with Rennes on Sunday will be played behind closed doors.

The club have decided to withdraw an appeal against a Ligue 1 sanction after supporters disrupted play during the 2-0 win against rivals Lyon in February.

A St Etienne employee was injured after supporters threw projectiles on to the pitch at Stade Geoffroy-Guichard on Feb. 5.

The club had intended to appeal against the penalty but withdrew their complaint following Sunday's crowd trouble at Lyon's game with Bastia -- which saw fans confront players on the field and led to the game being abandoned.

A club statement read: "The incidents that have occurred in Ligue 1 stadiums in recent days are so serious that ASSE, anxious to defend the values of fraternity and fair play, have decided to withdraw from the appeal against the sanction of the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP).

"The club again condemns the isolated and irresponsible act that caused the serious injury of one of its employees.

"The club also regrets that the sanction of the LFP, inadequate and particularly unfair, penalises all the fans but also the team that is preparing to play a decisive home game near the end of the championship."

St Etienne are seven points off a European spot with a game in hand on fifth-placed Bordeaux.


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