Lens-Lille derby delayed due to crowd clashes as French football suffers latest bout of fan violence



Less than a month after Nice’s clash with Marseille was forced to be suspended, Ligue 1 bore witness to another pitch invasion

Ligue 1 was once again the setting for an outbreak of supporter violence on Saturday, with the derby between Lens and Lille suffering delays after a pitch invasion from home fans. 

The two rivals went into half-time drawn at 0-0 after a tense opening 45 minutes. 

But they were forced to wait in order to restart the match as crowd trouble caused a temporary postponement in the Ligue 1 clash. 

What happened? 

Midway through the half-time break a group of Lens ultras flooded onto the pitch in order to confront their Lille counterparts, located in a different part of the stadium. 

The attack seems to have been provoked by the actions of a section of the away support, who were earlier seen climbing on a fence separating them from home fans and throwing seats and other projectiles over the barrier. 

After a brief fracas, the Lens ultras ran back to their own stand, while the match officials called for a momentary delay to the start of the second half while they evaluated the situation. 

The two clubs came out to warm up and were eventually cleared to restart the derby, famed as one of France’s fiercest fixtures. 

The bigger picture

The melee witnessed on Saturday was the second such incident to befall French football’s top division in less than a month. 

Back in August, Nice’s match with Marseille was forced to be suspended due to a pitch invasion from the home fans

The hosts were punished with a point deduction, while several Marseille players and staff, including star midfielder Dimitri Payet, were also sanctioned for their actions in provoking supporters during a bad-tempered match – which will be replayed behind closed doors.

Further reading 



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