Fans invade pitch at tense Lyon v Besiktas clash


Lyon (AFP) – Fans poured onto the pitch at the Europa League clash between Lyon and Besiktas on Thursday, delaying the start of a match already hit by fan violence in the run-up to kick-off.

The start of the quarter-final first leg was delayed as officials attempted to clear the Parc OL playing area of fans.

According to an AFP reporter at the ground, the fans were attempting to protect themselves from firecrackers and others objects raining down from the stands above.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas was subsequently seen calling for calm inside the stadium via a loudspeaker. 

Earlier Thursday, Turkish fans had clashed with security forces in the city, leaving a stadium steward injured, an AFP photographer reported.

“The Turkish supporters charged at a steward and injured him,” the source said. “The supporters are waving big Turkish flags.”

Trouble also erupted between rival fans outside another entrance to the stadium as smoke billowed from tear gas canisters.   

A group of Turkish fans from Germany had smashed a pair of glass doors at the club megastore after they were unable to purchase tickets to the sold-out match. 

They were dispersed by security guards and no arrests were made.

Authorities categorised the match as maximum risk with 1,000 stewards in place for the first leg encounter.

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