Violence Rock French Football

French football has been rocked by more crowd violence as Marseille and Angers supporters brawled on the pitch following Wednesday night’s match.

The travelling Marseille fans at the Stade Raymond Kopa breached a security cordon and made it onto the pitch at the final whistle following a goalless draw.

Stewards failed to contain the situation as punches were exchanged with home fans who had also made their way onto the pitch.

 Flares and firecrackers had been thrown between the two sets of fans during the game and equipment in the stadium was damaged as fans poured onto the pitch.

The stadium announcer could be heard appealing for calm, but to little effect before security personnel finally got a grip on the situation.

RMC Sport reported that Marseille had expressed concerns about the ease with which their fans could access the pitch in a pre-match security report.

Crowd trouble is becoming an increasing issue for the French football authorities following a series of high-profile incidents in the early part of the Ligue 1 season.

Marseille’s clash with Nice last month was abandoned after Marseille players were hit by objects thrown from the crowd, prompting Dimitri Payet to throw a bottle back.

Nice fans then invaded the pitch and a fight broke out involving players and staff from both teams, fans and stewards. Marseille physio Pablo Fernandez was handed a one-year touchline ban for punching one of the Nice fans.

Nice were docked two points, one of which is suspended, and were ordered to play a game behind closed doors.