French football authorities will demand responses from Lens after home fans invaded the pitch and faced rival supporters at half-time in their Ligue 1 derby against Lille.
Lens general manager Arnaud Pouille is certain that the Professional Football League (LFP) will initiate disciplinary proceedings against his club, following the ugly scenes in their home at the Bollaert-Delelis stadium.
Lille can also be summoned as league chiefs unravel the unsavory scenes which have seen fans at each club contribute to a volatile atmosphere.
Tension boiled over in the meantime as dozens of Lens supporters ran across the pitch towards those who had traveled to support Lille.
Pouille said the northeast derby issue was bad news for clubs as it would “be the image of the region that is affected”.
“I have a clear idea of what happened,” he said, according to L’Equipe. “But I don’t want to influence anyone by speaking. It’s not under our authority.
“There have been a few actions that have ignited the powder and a reaction that is damaging. But in these cases speaking out is complicated because whatever you say, you seem like you want to influence.
“We condemn any act of violence. There are procedures that are underway. At the level of the LFP, at the level of justice, there will be complaints filed by the club, and by the opposing club also according to this that I understood. ”
Lille announced on Twitter at half-time that the match was under threat, saying: “Following a pitch invasion from the far end of the stadium, an emergency meeting is underway to decide whether the match will be continued or abandoned. ”
Pouille said he spoke to Lille president Olivier Letang at halftime, as the trouble arose.
The recent abandonment of the match between Nice and Marseille due to fan violence was followed by a penalty of two points from Nice, one of which was suspended.
According to Pouille, the troubles in Saturday’s game could not be compared to the chaos of that game.
“These are not the same circumstances at all,” Pouille said. “No player in the [Lens-Lille] match were affected, the main events took place at half-time.
“Yes, there will certainly be a convocation of the disciplinary committee, we will discuss with them at that time.”
Lens went on to claim the 1-0 victory over last season’s champions, who got off to a rocky start in their title defense.
Lille head coach Jocelyn Gourvennec said he was not aware of the precise circumstances behind the problem. The game was delayed, with 40 minutes between the end of the first half and the start of the second.
“Half-time incidents? We had already gone back to the locker room. I don’t really know what happened,” said Gourvennec. “We were informed by the delegates and Mr. Millot [referee Benoit Millot] who spoke to coaches and captains.
“It was just a bit long, it made half-time longer, we had to do a warm-up again, it wasn’t ideal. I don’t know any more. I hope there was no wounded.”