The French Football League (LFP) is to launch an investigation into an incident at a Ligue 1 match between Amiens and Lille that left 29 supporters injured.
Visiting Lille fans had been celebrating Fodo Ballo-Toure’s 16th minute goal at Amiens’ Stade de La Licorne, when a barrier collapsed and caused dozens of supporters to fall around one-and-a-half metres onto the pitch.
After a security meeting, the decision was made to abandon the match and fully evacuate the stadium.
According to the BBC, five fans were seriously injured in the incident, but Amiens president Bernard Joannin has since said that only one fan remains in hospital, awaiting treatment from a psychologist.
Joannin came under fire shortly after the event after he initially blamed Lille fans for the incident, with L’Equipe reporting that he said: “Police had warned us that 200 highly agitated ultras were in the section of the stadium allocated to Lille supporters.”
However, Joannin has since apologised for his comments: “I wanted to say how dangerous it can be when supporters charge en masse in a matter of seconds towards a barrier and that they are also putting themselves in danger.
“But I expressed myself poorly and I want to apologise with sincerity to the supporters of Lille.”
Amiens vs. Lille is seen as a local derby, with the two teams based approximately 61 miles apart. Amiens is competing in Ligue 1 for the first time in its 116-year history.
Lille chief executive Marc Ingla ralso spoke out about the incident on Twitter: “We hope the LFP identifies those responsible. Our supporters are impeccable and professional football needs to be better organised.
5. Les déclarations du président d’Amiens semblent irresponsables et indignes dans ce contexte dramatique
— Marc Ingla (@ingla_marc) September 30, 2017
“The club has the right to ask questions about the security arrangements and conditions imposed on our supporters at Amiens’ stadium.”
The LFP is due to begin its investigation on Thursday, although Amiens public prosecutor has already started its own review.
Image: Julien Bertrand