Lyon’s Europa League tie with Besiktas delayed after violence erupts in stands

Mark Dobson
The Guardian
<span class="element-image__caption">Supporters take refuge on the Parc OL pitch as other fans fight in the stands before the Europa League tie between Lyon and Besiktas.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images</span>
Supporters take refuge on the Parc OL pitch as other fans fight in the stands before the Europa League tie between Lyon and Besiktas. Photograph: Philippe Desmazes/AFP/Getty Images

Football was left scarred by another night of violence as supporters fought in the stands and fans raced to the pitch for safety before Lyon’s Europa League tie with Besiktas.

The first leg of the quarter-final was delayed for 45 minutes after punches, projectiles and firecrackers were thrown at the Parc OL. Both teams were forced to leave the field as fans spilled on to the playing surface before kick-off, with the Lyon president, Jean-Michel Aulas, even going into the crowd in a desperate effort to calm tensions.

The incident came 24 hours after some Leicester City supporters were filmed singing distasteful war songs and clashing with police before their Champions League quarter-final tie with Atlético Madrid. Lyon went on to win their match 2-1 through two late goals from Corentin Tolisso and Jérémy Morel after the former Liverpool winger Ryan Babel had put Besiktas ahead.

Bruno Genesio, the Lyon manager, admitted it was distressing to see such trouble. “This is the reverse of what should happen,” he said after the game. “We are here to give pleasure to people and not to see that. You had to stay focused.”

<span class="element-image__caption">Trouble flares inside the stadium.</span> <span class="element-image__credit">Photograph: Emmanuel Foudrot/Reuters</span>
Trouble flares inside the stadium. Photograph: Emmanuel Foudrot/Reuters

In the other quarter-finals Ajax beat Schalke 2-0 in their home first leg while Celta Vigo edged ahead of Genk 3-2 at Balaídos. The return legs will take place next Thursday.

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