Enraged Lille fans spark riot, invade pitch, assault team

Annette Crawford
March 11, 2018

Fan protests during West Ham's 3-0 defeat to Burnley at the London Stadium on Saturday involved captain Mark Noble throwing an intruder to the ground before being ushered away by his teammates.

The result left Lille in the relegation zone - champions as recently as 2011, the northern side are at serious risk of going down to the second tier, a level they have not been at since 2000.

While manager Christophe Galtier understands the frustrations of fans amid their current predicament, he deemed the antics from some sections of the fanbase to be out of order.

A line of stewards were trying to restrain the fans who were shouting insults at the players and the club hierarchy from the North Stand of the Stade Pierre-Mauory.

Nicolas Pepe, who earlier gave Lille a 41st-minute lead, found himself accosted by some of the invaders and was shepherded towards the dressing rooms. "You're dirtying our jersey, you're dirtying our jersey", and "If we go down, we'll take you down", were the chants that were ringing out.


"They are fans who lost control, but they are also fans who are unhappy and sad", Galtier is quoted as saying by ESPN. "I was already in the locker room but the group is quite young and some players were scared".

Lille players had to be rushed to safety from their own fans when hundreds of angry supporters invaded the pitch on Saturday.

Regarding disciplinary action, the LFP have confirmed the matter will be investigated.

The French football league says it will open disciplinary proceedings following the violent incidents that marred a league match between Lille and Montpellier.

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