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Police Injured During Incidents from Bastia vs. Marseille Match

Marseille's French forward Andre-Pierre Gignac applauds supporters , after the League One soccer match against Toulouse,, at the Velodrome Stadium, in Marseille, southern France, Sunday, Feb. 2, 2014. (AP Photo/Claude Paris)
Claude Paris/Associated Press
Tyler ConwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 10, 2014

Fourty-four French police officers suffered injuries after a violent riot broke out following Saturday's 3-3 draw between Bastia and Marseille in their season-opening match.

According to a report from The Guardianthe French government issued a request for the Professional Football League to punish the offending parties. In a statement given alongside minister for sport Najat Vallaud-Belkacem, interior minister Bernard Cazeneuve asked the LFP to put “an end to this violent behaviour, especially towards security forces who must be respected."

"I condemn in the strongest terms the unacceptable violence surrounding last night's meeting, which was held in Bastia, causing many casualties among the security forces," LFP president Frederic Thiriez said in a statement, according to RFI.

The government claims 10 members of riot police and 34 military police were injured in the attacks. The violent outburst saw unruly fans hurl projectiles and even explosive devices at the officers, leading to mostly minor injuries, per The GuardianPolice were forced to subdue rioters with tear gas. 

The violence came just after Bastia made a thrilling comeback from 3-1 down to earn the point. Junior Tallo scored on a penalty in the 66th minute and Christopher Maboulou netted one from inside the goal box seven minutes later. The goal was Maboulou's second of the game. 

Claude Paris/Associated Press

Marseille ran out to their lead on the back of Andre-Pierre Gignac. The French striker headed a shot past Alphonse Areola in the 11th minute and capped off Marseille's scoring with a penalty of his own in the 62nd minute. Bastia defenseman Romaric's own goal in the 17th minute was responsible for the opposition's third goal.

The two sides come into 2014-15 looking to take the next step up in Ligue 1 competition. Marseille finished one point away from fifth place and a qualifying spot in Europa League, while Bastia placed tenth. Bastia's minus-14 goal differential was the tied for the worst among non-relegated clubs.

It will be interesting to see what (if any) punishment is doled out by the LFP. Penalties could see the league bar fans from attending a match or any number of lesser charges. With so many officers getting hurt in the melee, though, the LFP will likely want to send a message that future violent outbursts will not be tolerated.


Follow Tyler Conway (@tylerconway22) on Twitter.

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