Ligue 1: Lens will play in an empty stadium following violence from supporters


French club Lens will play their next two home games in an empty stadium following fan violence that marred Saturday’s game between the team and bitter rival Lille, the French league said.

The league put the case under investigation on Monday and imposed the sanction as a precautionary measure until its disciplinary committee reaches a final sanction.

A decision is expected to be announced on October 6. In the meantime, the league has also decided to prevent Lille fans from going to away games.

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The game between rivals from the north was interrupted for around 30 minutes when supporters from both sides clashed at half-time.

After the first half, a large group of Lens supporters invaded the pitch and ran to the away section where they attempted to face the Lille fans. Riot police and flight attendants intervened. An emergency meeting was held to decide whether the game at Bollaert Stadium should continue. After the start of the second half, there was no more violence.

It was the second high-profile incident of the season in France after serious unrest in the Nice-Marseille game in August, which was called off and will be replayed next month.

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