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Watch: St-Etienne fans storm pitch with flares

Watch: Ugly scenes as Saint-Etienne fans storm pitch with flares after getting relegated from Ligue 1

May 30, 2022 By Ali M.
A large mob of angry Sainté Les Verts fans invaded the pitch immediately after their side lost the relegation playoffs, hurling flares at players and staff as they retreated down the tunnel.

Sunday's Ligue 1 relegation playoff between Saint-Etienne and Auxerre ended in violence as Sainté Les Verts fans stormed the pitch with flares after their team officially got relegated to Ligue 2.

Pascal Dupraz's men finished the French top-flight in 18th, hence why they were in this predicament. As a result, the Auvergne-Rhône-Alpes side took on Auxerre, drawing 1-1 in the first leg and setting up an intense encounter at the Stade Geoffroy-Guichard in the return fixture.

Hamza Sakhi gave the visitors the lead in the 51st-minute, but Mahdi Camara equalized for the home side to calm the frustrated fans. However, the hosts could not find the back of the net once again in normal time or added time, thus forcing the game to be decided on penalty shootout.

Ryad Boudebouz missed the opening spot kick for the Greens, with Auxerre's Birama Toure converting the fifth and finally penalty to conform Saint-Etienne's demotion to the second division for the first time in almost two decades.

Upon converting that spot kick, anger immediately erupted in the stands, with a large mob of infuriated fans storming the pitch, with some carrying flares, which they hurled at the players and staff retreating down the tunnel.

Riot police were called upon in order to handle the crowd while the fire brigade were also needed after supporters attempted to set seats on fire. Check out the ugly incident in the video below.

What will be the repercussions to this horrible pitch invasion? This remains unclear. Saint-Etienne released a statement in the aftermath of their relegation but did not touch upon the disgraceful end to that match, instead hinting at a change of ownership after tasting the bitterness that is demotion.

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