Lille fans invade pitch, aim kicks at players


A dismal season has bred anger and resentment among the fans, who have directed their rage at club president Gerard Lopez and the under-performing players.

Lille fans ran on to the pitch and attacked their own players after their struggling team drew 1-1 with Montpellier in Ligue 1 on Saturday.

He had hoped the appointment of Marcelo Bielsa ahead of this season would help the club compete towards the top end of the table but the enigmatic Argentine was sacked late past year due to the team s poor form.

But over in Ligue One, Lille supporters took it to new extremes after their 1-1 home draw with Montpellier. Defender Adama Soumaoro was also reportedly struck.

With Lopez watching from the stands, about 200 fans broke through the line of stewards and stormed on to the pitch, aiming their fury at the players. They had reportedly assured him they would back the team until the end of the season, but the truce crumbled in seconds.

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But, instead, Lille is in 19th place and fighting to avoid relegation with only nine games left. But finally the fans backed off to the stands.

Lille coach Christophe Galtie said that while the fans have reason to be angry, their behaviour was unacceptable.

"They are fans who lost control, but they are also fans who are unhappy and sad", Galtier said. We're going to try to leave that behind us to move forward and pick up points to keep ourselves up.

'I don't accept that my players are punched, that my players are treated this way'. "It's only one game".