Fan violence

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Further crowd trouble could see Lyon’s European ban made active

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Lyon has not enjoyed sportsmanship on and off the pitch this season.

You’ll remember an ugly incident between its players and Everton fans this season, but it’s been Lyon’s support which has had the Ligue 1 club under the microscope for some time.

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Lyon had a two-year ban suspended in April, and antics before Thursday’s Europa League match versus CSKA Moscow could see the French side’s suspension from European competition put into action. From the BBC:

Lyon have been charged with racist behaviour, crowd disturbances, throwing objects and setting off fireworks and blocking stairways.

Police say up to 150 ultras attacked officers outside Lyon’s stadium on Thursday.

West Ham pledges more police, issues stadium bans for offenders

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West Ham United released a statement from the London Stadium Safety Advisory Group on Thursday recommending some measures to avoid a repeat of the chaotic displays of last weekend’s fan protests and pitch invasions at the London Stadium.

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The Irons said the stadium will have the following moving forward (from More police inside and outside the stadium, restricted access in front of the directors’ box, and increasing the size of response teams.

The group said the club must be proactive in order to avoid the prospect of playing inside an empty stadium.

“In addition, LS185 and West Ham United have made great strides in identifying the trouble makers and have been very clear that those guilty of violent or aggravating conduct will be banned from the stadium. It is anticipated these stadium bans will be in place for the next home fixture against Southampton on 31 March.”

The relegation-threatened Irons are in Miami this week for a training camp ahead of an important charge toward Premier League safety. They await punishment from the Football Association.

West Ham fallout: Multiple closed door home matches considered

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It seems the fallout from West Ham’s wild weekend is only beginning, as the English Football Association reviews its options to punish the Premier League club following a chaotic 3-0 loss to Burnley at the London Stadium on Saturday.

[ RECAP: West Ham 0-3 Burnley ]

Fans clashed with stewards and there were multiple pitch invasions highlighted (or lowlighted) by Hammers players Mark Noble and James Collins coming together with protesting fans.

Sky Sports says playing multiple matches behind closed doors is an option being considered by a three-person committee.

There was initial concern West Ham could suffer a points deduction for Saturday’s incidents, with the Irons just three points clear of the drop zone.

“The atmosphere was horrible,” said West Ham’s Mark Noble. “To be honest we know a lot of it isn’t aimed at the players, it’s other reasons, but we got to be men enough to be able to play in that atmosphere. It’s hard don’t get me wrong when you’ve got 50, 60-thousand here and a big percentage are not happy with where the club is, so the players take the brunt of it.”

French league will investigate fan violence in Lille

Photo credit should read FRANCOIS LO PRESTI/AFP/Getty Images
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PARIS (AP) The French football league says it will open disciplinary proceedings following the violent incidents that marred a league match between Lille and Montpellier.

Fans of struggling French club Lille charged onto the pitch to confront and threaten the players who drew with Montpellier 1-1 on Saturday.

[ MORE: Mark Noble on West Ham fan violence ]

The league condemned the violence in a statement on Sunday and said its disciplinary commission will investigate the case during a meeting on Thursday.

At the final whistle, fans spilled onto the field at Stade Pierre-Mauory. Striker Nicolas Pepe was kicked in the leg by one fan and there were more flashpoints between fans and players as stewards struggled to control the situation. Defender Adama Soumaoro was also reportedly struck.

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A line of stewards formed on the side of the pitch to hold back about 200 fans, who were chanting insults at the players and at president Gerard Lopez, just days after Lopez met with fan groups on Monday.

When Lopez became president, he confidently spoke about his ambition to qualify for the Champions League within a few seasons. But Lille, which won the French league and cup double in 2011, is next-to-last with only nine games left.

VIDEO: Mark Noble on fan violence, protests, tackling intruder

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Fan protests turned extraordinarily bad on Saturday at the London Stadium, where West Ham fell 3-0 to Burnley.

As part of an ugly morning which featured a fan planted a corner flag at midfield and a section of the crowd almost universally turning away from the pitch, West Ham veteran Mark Noble tackled a pitch intruder.

[ RECAP: West Ham 0-3 Burnley ]

He said he hopes the fans got their anger off their chest for future home matches, and admitted playing is a struggle right now.

“The atmosphere was horrible,” he said. “To be honest we know a lot of it isn’t aimed at the players, it’s other reasons, but we got to be men enough to be able to play in that atmosphere. It’s hard don’t get me wrong when you’ve got 50, 60-thousand here and a big percentage are not happy with where the club is, so the players take the brunt of it.”

Noble said he understands the fans have had enough, and that West Ham needs to get wins, and spoke of the tackling incident, and the bizarre stadium experience, after the match on NBCSN:

“The end of the day, first and foremost, I’m a human being. I know I’m out on the pitch under cameras and scrutiny all the time but if someone’s approaching me I’m going to protect myself for sure. It’s a big surface area to police and the security couldn’t do that.”

“I wouldn’t say (I felt) endangered but you never know in this world. I’ve been at this club for a long long time. I’m a West Ham fan myself and I’ve always protected it, but if someone approaches me on the pitch I’m gonna protect myself, full stop.”