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 By Ian Holyman

Next Bastia home game to be behind closed doors at neutral ground

Bastia have been ordered to play their next home game behind closed doors at a neutral venue after violence forced the abandonment of last weekend's game against Lyon.

Further sanctions could yet be imposed on the Ligue 1 strugglers.

The French Football League (LFP) disciplinary commission announced that the game against Rennes, on April 29, cannot be played at Bastia's Stade Armand Cesari.

The Lyon game was abandoned when home fans invaded the pitch and attacked visiting players on two occasions.

Kickoff had been delayed by almost an hour after fans confronted Lyon players as they warmed up.

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.

"Given the seriousness of the incidents, the commission has decided to have the matter investigated, to provisionally suspend the Stade Armand-Cesari, to delocalise SC Bastia's next home match to a neutral venue behind closed doors during the enquiry, and to close the away fans' section for SC Bastia's away games," a statement on the LFP's official website said.

Bastia's public prosecutor has warned that anyone found guilty of offences that led to the abandonment of the Lyon game faced up to five years in prison.

The club announced that they would close their East Stand, the area in which the trouble originated, with immediate effect.

But Sebastien Deneux, the commission president, told reporters: "We have suspended the Stade Furiani because it appeared the conditions for security inside and outside the stadium for the next game to take place in Bastia were not met.

"This decision goes above and beyond the simple closure of the East Stand. We can't wait for something dramatic to happen on a football pitch before taking action."

The commission will announce its final ruling next month.

It will determine the conditions in which Bastia's final home game, against fellow strugglers Lorient, is played and whether a suspended one-point deduction for racist abuse of Nice striker Mario Balotelli will be invoked.

Bastia are bottom of Ligue 1, three points from safety.

Ian is ESPN's French football correspondent. Twitter: @ian_holyman

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