In Brief

Senegal vs Ivory Coast called off after pitch invasion - pics

Senegal vs Ivory Coast called off after pitch invasion

Fans rush to outfield to mob players in closing stages, with at least one player hauled to ground

An international friendly between Ivory Coast and Senegal in France was abandoned on Monday night after fans invaded the pitch. One fan rugby tackled Senegal's Lamine Gassama.

Referee Tony Chapron called the game off in the 88th minute, with the score level at 1-1 after supporters ran onto the field of play for the third time.

"Spectators jumped fences to breach security before violence in the terraces boiled over onto the turf," reports The Sun, which adds that the image of Gassama being hauled to the ground illustrates the "carnage" at the 20,000 seater arena on the outskirts of Paris.

The match was not a sell-out and fans were "free to roam around the stadium", says the paper. Many were seen clambering over fences to get into the venue shortly before the final pitch invasion.

French journalist Herve Penot told the BBC that the incident "could have been very serious" but added: "I wouldn't say the people were violent, it was much more about trying to be with the players. But you never know what can happen, the organisation was a disaster, it was incredible.

"After 20-30 minutes a couple of people were on the pitch, then they couldn't start the second-half because they had people on the pitch and the referee said if it happens again he will stop the game. It was very messy."

The BBC says that it was the second match in five years between the two countries to be cut short because of crowd disturbances. "Senegal were disqualified from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations when a riot led to a playoff between the sides being abandoned."

Liverpool striker Sadio Mane had given Senegal the lead on 67 minutes with a penalty, but Fulham's Cyriac Gohi Bi equalised for Ivory Coast soon afterwards.

They were not the only English-based players involved in the game. "Manchester United's Eric Bailly, Everton's Idrissa Gueye and Crystal Palace's Wilfried Zaha were also playing in the match," says Sky Sports.

The future of friendly matches between African countries in Europe could be under threat after the incident, which took place after Nigeria's match against Burkina Faso – which had been due to take place in Barnet on Monday night – was called off when seven members of the Burkina Faso squad were denied British entry visas.

Recommended

Sport shorts: Sturgeon slams Rangers fans over title celebrations
Rangers fans gathered in George Square in Glasgow to celebrate the title win
In Brief

Sport shorts: Sturgeon slams Rangers fans over title celebrations

Sport shorts: Klopp’s unwanted record as Liverpool lose again at Anfield
Mason Mount scored Chelsea’s winner against Liverpool at Anfield (Phil Noble/Pool/AFP via Getty Images)
In Brief

Sport shorts: Klopp’s unwanted record as Liverpool lose again at Anfield

Sport shorts: foreign spectators ‘could be barred’ from Olympics
Tokyo Olympic Games
In Brief

Sport shorts: foreign spectators ‘could be barred’ from Olympics

Sport shorts: Lewis Hamilton reveals his ‘driving force’
Lewis Hamilton
In Brief

Sport shorts: Lewis Hamilton reveals his ‘driving force’

Popular articles

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 March 2021
10 Downing Street
Daily Briefing

Ten Things You Need to Know Today: 8 March 2021

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021
James Nesbitt stars in Bloodlands
In Depth

Best TV crime dramas to watch in 2021

Quiz of The Week: 27 February - 5 March
Prince Harry and Meghan Markle during a visit to Northern Ireland in 2019
Quizzes and puzzles

Quiz of The Week: 27 February - 5 March