Saint-Etienne Fans Launch Flares And Explosives At Their Own Team After The Club Is Relegated From Ligue 1
| Last updated
There were more shocking scenes in French football on Sunday as Saint-Etienne fans invaded the pitch and threw flares at their own players after the club was relegated from Ligue 1.
Saint-Etienne were beaten 5-4 on penalties by Auxerre after their two-legged play-off had ended 2-2 on aggregate.
Immediately after Remi Dugimont scored the winning penalty for Auxerre, hundreds of Saint-Etienne fans invaded the pitch at the Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium.
Dozens of flares were thrown in the direction of the Saint-Etienne players, who retreated down the tunnel, while other pyrotechnics could be heard being set off during the chaos.
Footage from inside the tunnel showed several players nursing injuries sustained as a result of the pitch invasion.
The mass pitch invasion which followed Saint-Étienne’s relegation - players rushing down the tunnel as flares were thrown in their direction. (📽: @AdBlettery) pic.twitter.com/c8m0i9p6SP— Get French Football News (@GFFN) May 29, 2022
The pitch has now been cleared, with riot police intervening. Seats were being burned in the stands, which the fire brigade have now put out, according to RMC.— Get French Football News (@GFFN) May 29, 2022
According to French publication RMC Sport, riot police eventually intervened and were able to clear fans off the pitch.
The French fire service was also forced to put out fires that were set by fans burning seats in the stands.
The ugly scenes come just a day after crowd trouble marred the Champions League final between Liverpool and Real Madrid in Paris.
Thousands of Liverpool supporters were made to wait outside the Stade de France for several hours before the match, causing the kick-off to be delayed by more than 30 minutes.
Some fans without tickets attempted to force their way into the stadium by jumping over gates and under turnstiles.
French riot police struggled to control the situation and have been criticised for firing tear gas at peaceful Liverpool supporters, with young children among those caught up in the violence.
UEFA blamed the chaotic scenes on fans who had turned up for the match with "fake tickets".
However, multiple journalists who attended the match have pointed the blame squarely at UEFA and its lack of organisation.
Liverpool have now called for an investigation into UEFA and the French police's handling of the final, which ended in a 1-0 win for Madrid.