St-Etienne away fans hit with ban

France’s Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) has banned fans of Ligue 1 club St-Etienne from travelling to away games until the end of December following an afternoon of violent clashes in Nice.

Sunday’s league meeting between Nice and St-Etienne at the Allianz Riviera stadium, which finished in a 1-0 away win, saw around 250 visiting supporters ejected from the venue after some of their number began throwing seats at home fans around an hour prior to kick-off. Violent confrontations between opposing spectators then took place, leading to several minor injuries.

In response, LFP has decided to “close the visitors’ gallery for St-Etienne’s away games until the end of the year”. The matches affected by the ban take place in Rennes on December 4, Montpellier in December 13 and against Paris St-Germain on December 18.

In the wake of the disorder LFP president Frederic Thiriez threatened to impose “systematic bans” on supporters who indulge in violent behaviour.

“Enough! The few cretins who claim to be supporters do not even realise they ruin the image of football,” he told L’Equipe.

The state-of-the-art Allianz Riviera only opened its doors on September 22, having been built as part of a nationwide stadium improvement programme ahead of Euro 2016, which is to be held in France.


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