French club SC Bastia ordered to play in closed stadiums due to fan violence

Thursday March 12th, 2015

Ligue 1 club SC Bastia has been ordered to play its games in closed stadiums until further notice, the league announced Thursday.

Bastia will not be allowed to use its home stadium, Stade de Furiani, on the Mediterranean island of Corsica and will instead be forced to play in empty stadiums on the French mainland. The league called closing the stadium a "precautionary" measure.

The ruling comes after violence during a hotly contested match against OGC Nice last weekend. Bastia supporters used pyrotechnics in the stands and threw objects at Nice players, prompting a brief suspension of play. The league also said Bastia fans had a banner with an obscene message.

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Two Nice players were shown red cards in the match. Senegalese center back Souleymane Diawara received a red card for elbowing an opponent and will be banned three games. Right back Gregoire Puel, son of Nice manager Claude Puel, earned a two-game ban for his red card.

With Nice reduced to nine men, Bastia won the match, 2-1, and moved into 10th place in the league. 

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- Dan Gartland

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