Coupe de France game abandoned after crowd trouble

The Coupe de France football match between Olympique Lyonnais and Paris FC on Friday was abandoned after fans stormed the pitch and fighting broke out in the stands.

The game, which took place at Paris FC’s Stade Charlety (pictured), was poised at 1-1 after the first 45 minutes, but shortly after the players went down the tunnel at half-time, supporters began throwing flares onto the pitch.

The situation soon escalated when some supporters made their way onto the pitch while fans from both teams began fighting with each other in the stands. 

The second half was delayed for 50 minutes, and, despite the efforts of the police and security staff to ease the situation, officials decided to abandon the game, with the message relayed to supporters via a stadium announcement.

On Saturday, the French Football Federation (FFF), which organises the Coupe de France, said its disciplinary commission would meet urgently to examine the incidents. Disciplinary decisions are set to be made next week ahead of the round of 16 matches on January 2-3.

This was the second Lyon game in the 2021-22 season to be abandoned after the match against Olympique de Marseille in November was halted when a home fan threw a bottle at opposition player Dimitri Payet.

Crowd trouble has also marred other matches in French football, with AS Saint-Etienne in October ordered to play a home match behind closed doors after fans let off smoke bombs and ran onto the pitch during a game against Angers.

In August, OGC Nice was hit with a partial stadium closure following unrest at the Allianz Riviera during the derby against Marseille.

Last week, France’s Sports, Interior and Justice ministries approved new measures that would result in matches interrupted by crowd trouble being suspended immediately.

It was also announced that clubs will need to install protective devices such as safety nets at their stadiums from next season to reduce the chances of pitch invasions or objects being thrown. 

In addition, clubs video protection systems will be assessed in a bid to raise them to the necessary standards.

Image: Zakarie Faibis/CC BY-SA 4.0/Edited for size