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Saint-Etienne hit with stadium closure after fan protests


Paris, Oct 25, 2021 (AFP) - Saint-Etienne have been ordered to play their home games behind closed doors until further notice after protests from angry fans delayed the start of Friday's 2-2 draw with Angers by an hour.

The French league's disciplinary committee said on Monday a final decision will be made on November 17.

The temporary ruling means Saint-Etienne, last in Ligue 1, will play at least one match without any supporters.

Home fans unfurled banners, let off a barrage of projectiles and smoke bombs and ran onto the field, damaging the goals ahead of the game with Angers.

The players left the field and kick-off was put back as municipal workers repaired the nets at the city-owned Geoffroy-Guichard stadium.

It was only the latest in a series of incidents involving fans in Ligue 1 games this season.

League officials had already imposed a two-match suspended closure of Saint-Etienne's south stand after incidents during the derby against Lyon on October 3.

Crowd trouble forced a match between Nice and Marseille to be abandoned on August 22.

That was followed by a string of incidents in September.

The northern derby between Lens and Lille was overshadowed by a pitch invasion that held up the start of the second half.

The next weekend, supporters invaded the pitch at the game between Angers and Marseille, while stones were thrown at a bus taking Bordeaux fans to their match in Montpellier, with 16 suffering minor injuries.

Nice were deducted a point. Lens were ordered to play home matches behind closed doors.

Saint-Etienne hit with stadium closure after fan protests
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