Lens ordered to play behind closed doors after pitch invasion

By Obiajulu Chiagoziem

Lens supporters invaded the pitch at half-time of the northern derby against Lille.

Pitch invasion occurs when a person or a crowd spectating a sporting event run onto the playing area, usually to celebrate or protest an incident, or sometimes as a publicity stunt.

Following this invasion, French football authorities on Monday ordered Lens to play their home matches behind closed doors until further notice, after a half-time pitch invasion marred their 1-0 win over northern rivals Lille.

This decision is set to start on Wednesday’s Ligue 1 game against Strasbourg and the October 1 visit of Reims.

As it is, final decision over the invasion will be discussed later after five days of thorough examination of the issue.

Also, included in the decision is the away games for the supporters, for now, French league’s disciplinary committee also decided to close the away section for travelling Lille supporters at upcoming matches, starting with Saturday’s trip to Strasbourg.

The riot was controlled by the riot police as they separated the factions of opposing supporters as both set of fans hurled seats at each other over a partition wall. Arrest were also done.

The second half of the game was utterly delayed by 30 minutes.