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Saint-Etienne’s French Cup tie at Jura Sud halted due to fireworks


Paris (AFP) – Saint-Etienne’s French Cup tie away to fourth-tier Jura Sud was halted during the first-half on Sunday after fireworks were thrown onto the pitch by the Ligue 1 side’s fans.

Referee Bastien Dechepy ordered the players back into the changing rooms after four minutes of the game due to thick smoke on the field and after an object was thrown near the hosts’ goalkeeper, Cedric Mensah.

The match restarted after an almost 20-minute delay with Les Verts leading 2-0 after a quarter of an hour thanks to efforts from Mickael Nade and Arnaud Nordin.

The fixture, in the round of 32 of the French cup, was held in Louhans, 80km from Jura Sud’s home ground near the Swiss border, as the National 2 outfit’s ground failed to meet regulations .

Last month, Lyon and second-division side Paris FC were thrown out of the competition after crowd trouble caused their last 64 tie on December 17 in the French capital to be stopped at half-time.

Earlier Sunday, Bordeaux were knocked out in a 3-0 defeat at Brest after being forced to play despite registering 21 positive Covid-19 cases.

The visitors were soundly beaten after coach Vladimir Petkovic had to make seven changes to his starting line-up, with six reserves on the teamsheet.

Bordeaux president Gerard Lopez had denounced a “lack of respect” towards his club before the match, but the French football federation ordered the match to go ahead.

The Girondins started promisingly, but fell behind when 18-year-old defender Tijany Atallah, on his senior debut, conceded a penalty which was converted by Brest forward Steve Mounie.

Romain Faivre and Jeremy Le Douaron both scored in the second half as Brest eased into the last 16.

Elsewhere, fourth-tier side Versailles progressed with a 4-0 victory over La Roche, while Nantes and Toulouse also booked their places in the next round.

The number of new Covid cases in France has topped 200,000 a day this week.

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