“We had a disastrous season” – French Football chief warns of criminals invading pitches in Ligue 1


“We had a disastrous season” – French Football chief warns of criminals invading pitches in Ligue 1

Ligue 1

Ligue 1 witnessed some of the biggest pitch invasions of football last season. While most of these invasions are usually associated with a fan wanting to meet his favourite footballer, or fans celebrating important victories, some invasions can quickly take a violent course.

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One such being that of St Etienne vs AJ Auxerre last month. Etienne lost the relegation play-off on penalties and as a result, the fans started throwing flares at their own players after the defeat. The incident was gruesome for both sides and devastating for Ligue 1.

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French Football chief admits there could have been casualties in Ligue 1 last season

Speaking to  L’Equipe, French football league chief Vincent Labrune said, “I don’t want to know about a death in a stadium as president. We want to be the Development League, not the War League in the stadiums. I appeal to all of you, to your responsibility. You have to be brave and put these criminals where they belong, not in stadiums.”

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We had a disastrous season on and off the pitch. We have to change gears very strongly. At the League, we are going to take our responsibility, the clubs must also take theirs and be aware that they must help us, as well as the public authorities.”

“It bothers me when I hear the ANS (national association of supporters) say that there are good and bad supporters, good and bad ultras. No, there are supporters and ultras. I really like the positive fervour of the ultras, but today there are criminals in our enclosures. We have to get them out of stadiums.”

Last season in Ligue 1, Dimitri Payet of Marseille had also been attacked by fans on two different occasions while a few other games had been delayed or abandoned after pitch invasions took a violent turn.

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