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Bastia hit with stadium closure while league investigates crowd trouble

Bastia hit with stadium closure while league investigates crowd trouble
By PA Sport

Yesterday at 12:03

Bastia's Stade Armand-Cesari has been closed while the French Football League (LFP) investigates recent instances of crowd trouble.

The Corsican club's Ligue 1 match against Lyon last Sunday had to be abandoned after home fans entered the pitch at half-time to confront Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes.

The kick-off had earlier been delayed by an hour after a previous pitch invasion during which Lopes' fellow goalkeeper Mathieu Gorgelin and team-mate Memphis Depay were attacked.

It followed disturbances at Bastia's home game against Nantes in March and the LFP has opened investigations into the two incidents, with a severe set of provisional measures put in place.

The club's fans will also not be permitted to travel to away games, starting with Saturday's trip to Bordeaux.

An LFP statement read: "In view of the gravity of the events, the (disciplinary) commission has decided to place the matter under investigation, to provisionally close the Stade Armand-Cesari, to move Bastia's next home match to a neutral ground to be played behind closed doors for the duration of the investigation and to close the visitors' enclosure for Bastia's away games."

The ban will see April 29's game against Rennes switched to a venue yet to be announced, with Bastia's only further home match this season coming against Lorient on May 13 - sandwiched between trips to Paris St Germain and Marseille.

Bastia claimed on their website the provisional ban will run until May 4, before the Lorient match.

Rui Almeida's side are currently bottom of Ligue 1, two points adrift of safety with those five games remaining subject to any possible points deductions.

The club had already chosen to close the stadium's east stand after the Lyon match, which was the first time it had reopened following a three-match LFP-imposed closure after Nice striker Mario Balotelli was racially abused in January - an incident which also saw the club hit with a suspended one-point deduction.

Lyon's own fans were guilty of disturbances during their Europa League tie against Besiktas last Thursday which saw both clubs hit with suspended bans from European competition.

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