Lille

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Lille appoint four interim managers to replace Bielsa

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LILLE, France (AP) A four-man coaching team will take provisional charge of French soccer club Lille in the wake of Marcelo Bielsa’s dismissal.

Lille says Fernando Da Cruz, Joao Sacramento, Benoit Delaval and Franck Mantaux will be in charge of the team until further notice.

Lille announced earlier this week that Bielsa had been suspended “as part of a procedure started by the club” following a 3-0 loss at Amiens.

The northern side is in 19th place and next travels Saturday to Montpellier, which has the best defense in the league.

Bielsa joined Lille this season but failed to make the club competitive. After finishing a disappointing 11th last season, Lille hired the coach – affectionately known as El Loco Bielsa (Crazy Bielsa) – with the aim of returning to the Champions League.

Lille suspends coach Marcelo Bielsa

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LILLE, France (AP) French club Lille has provisionally suspended coach Marcelo Bielsa following a string of poor results in the top tier.

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The northern side said in a statement that Bielsa has been suspended “as part of a procedure started by the club.” Lille did not elaborate.

Bielsa joined Lille this season but has failed to make the club competitive again, with the team second to last after 13 matches.

Lille steward says barrier at Amiens stadium was faulty

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PARIS (AP) A steward from Lille said he had warned Amiens officials that the barrier which collapsed during a French league match between the two northern clubs was faulty.

In an interview with L’Equipe newspaper published Monday, Jean-Claude Buisine said the visitors’ stand at the Stade de la Licorne in Amiens did not have enough capacity for the 550 away fans, and that the barrier was defective.

Buisine, who sustained minor back injuries in the accident, said he and his colleagues had warned Amiens officials before the game that the barrier was badly attached and that it was moving.

“It’s a disgrace to confine people in a thing like that,” Buisine said about the stand. “It’s a case of gross security negligence. This stadium is very, very dangerous.”

The hospital in Amiens said 29 people were injured in the collapse.

The French league said its disciplinary committee would be starting an inquiry on Thursday. If Amiens is found responsible, it faces a number of possible sanctions: a fine, playing a match with either part or all of its stadium closed, or even a point penalty.

The Amiens prosecutor has already opened an investigation to determine the causes of the accident.

The match between Amiens and Lille was stopped Saturday after the opening goal in the 15th minute. Fode Ballo-Toure had just scored for Lille when he ran over to a section of visiting fans behind the goal to celebrate. As fans surged forward, the fence collapsed under their weight. Fans tumbled onto the field and the match was immediately halted.

Fans out of hospital after barrier collapse at Amiens’ stadium

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PARIS (AP) All the people injured after a barrier collapsed during Lyon’s match at Amiens on Saturday have been released from hospital.

Amiens hospital said that 29 people were injured in the collapse. All but seven were able to go home overnight.

On Sunday Lille posted on its Twitter account: “Great news! All the Lille fans who were injured during the match have left the Amiens hospital. We’re thinking strongly of them!”

The French league released a statement announcing that its president Nathalie Boy de la Tour and executive director Didier Quillot had visited the hospital and that its disciplinary committee would be starting its own inquiry on Thursday.

If Amiens is found responsible, it faces a number of possible sanctions: a fine, playing a match with either part or all of its stadium closed, or even a points penalty.

The Amiens prosecutor has already opened an investigation to determine the causes of the accident.

The Amiens-Lille match was stopped Saturday night after the opening goal in the 15th minute by Lille. The team’s fans behind the goal surged forward to celebrate when the fence gave way under the pressure.

A Lille fan who was at the match said: “It was really carnage.”

Meanwhile, Amiens president Bernard Joanni said he called Lille CEO Marc Ingla to apologize after he appeared to blame the visiting supporters for the incident.

Joanni said he was sorry “to have been misinterpreted” and “to have been without a doubt insensitive.”

Seven remain in hospital after Amiens stadium collapse

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PARIS (AP) French authorities say seven Lille supporters remain hospitalized Sunday, including five who are seriously injured, after a barrier collapsed during the team’s football match at Amiens on Saturday.

Cyril Moreau, Somme prefect’s chief of staff, told RTL radio that the injuries were not life-threatening.

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Amiens hospital said that 29 people were injured in the collapse. Most were able to go home overnight.

Moreau said the Amiens prosecutor has opened an investigation for “unintentional injuries” to determine the causes of the accident.

The Amiens-Lille match was stopped Saturday night after the opening goal in the 15th minute by Lille. The team’s fans behind the goal surged forward to celebrate when the fence gave way under the pressure.