French League Match Halted After Fans’ Injury

The French Ligue 1 Derby clash between Stade Amiens and Lille Metropole was stopped on Saturday after several fans got injured when a barrier collapsed.

Five football fans were seriously injured following the 16th minute incident at the Stade de la Licorne. In addition, at least 29 fans reportedly got injured.

The unfortunate incident happened when a barrier in the away section gave way while Lille fans were celebrating Fode Ballo-Toure’s opener, and several fans fell about one and a half metres onto the pitch.

The match was thereafter abandoned and the stadium evacuated after a brief security meeting. The local prosecutor thereafter revealed that he had opened an investigation into the incident.

Amiens are featuring in the French top flight for the first time in their 116-year history and their 12,000-capacity stadium represents the smallest of the 20 Ligue 1 clubs.

According to popular French newspaper L’Equipe, Amiens club president Bernard Joannin blamed Lille’s supporters for what happened as he said: “Police had warned us that 200 highly agitated ultras were in the section of the stadium allocated to Lille supporters.”

Lille chief executive Marc Ingla however responded on Twitter by saying: “The statement from Amiens’ president is irresponsible and inflammatory in the context of this situation.

“We hope the LFP (Ligue de Football Professionnel) identifies those responsible. Our supporters are impeccable and professional football needs to be better organised.

“The club has the right to ask questions about the security arrangements and conditions imposed on our supporters at Amiens’ stadium.” he added.