Football: Saint-Étienne plunges into Ligue 2 in great chaos

A fatal penalty shootout, an invasion of the field with fire from smoke bombs and scuffles outside its Geoffroy-Guichard stadium: Saint-Étienne, beaten 1 to 1 (5-4 on penalties) by Auxerre on Sunday 29 May, bid farewell to Ligue 1 in the greatest chaos.

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As soon as the last successful shot on goal by the Auxerrois Birama Touré, synonymous with victory for the Burgundians, who returned to Ligue 1 after ten years of absence, the field was invaded by thousands of angry supporters. Some sent pyrotechnic devices towards the official platform protected by the police.

“These incidents are very sad”

The Saint-Etienne players, surrounded by the stewards, immediately rushed, like the other players in the match, to the locker room. “After the match, I freaked out because I took tear gas canisters, like my players, commented the Auxerrois coach, Jean-Marc Furlan. We counted ourselves to find out if there were any missing. These incidents are very sad. »

The security forces also entered the field and fired tear gas to disperse the crowd, while panic movements shook the stands. And the clashes continued outside the stadium, requiring the use of tear gas and a water-throwing device, the prefecture said, adding that the unrest had ceased at 11:15 p.m.

According to the Loire prefecture, two Auxerre players were slightly injured in the scuffles, and the Geoffroy-Guichard stadium is again at risk of serious sanctions even though it is on probation because it is a repeat offender of this kind of incident.

Next club sale

The balance sheet stands at 14 minor injuries among the police and 17 among the supporters, “including 3 were taken to hospital for control”, according to the prefect of the Loire Catherine Séguin, who condemns “these unacceptable, irresponsible and unworthy acts”. According to her, the 1,154 Auxerre supporters and then the players were able to leave the stadium from midnight under police escort.

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Relegation punishes a calamitous season for Saint-Étienne, who had snatched the right to play in the play-offs in extremis after a draw in Nantes (1-1) on the 38th and last day of the championship. A statement from shareholders announced the upcoming sale of the club. Roland Romeyer and Bernard Caïazzo promise “an important news concerning the future of the club and ours”, adding that“an essential page of our life will turn”. In the greatest confusion.


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