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Senegal’s Gassama tackled in Paris friendly pitch invasion

Senegal player Lamine Gassama was grabbed by a fan during the incidentSenegal player Lamine Gassama was grabbed by a fan during the incident.PHOTO/BBC

DAKAR, Senegal, Mar 28 – A friendly match between Ivory Coast and Senegal was abandoned when fans invaded the pitch in Paris.

The African sides were level at 1-1 on 88 minutes when a handful of fans broke onto the pitch, with one appearing to rugby tackle Senegal’s Lamine Gassama.

Players ran from the pitch and referee Tony Chapron opted to end the fixture.

Liverpool’s Sadio Mane had given Senegal a second-half lead from the penalty spot but Bi Gohi Cyriac levelled three minutes later.

L’Equipe journalist Herve Penot was in the ground and told BBC World Service the incident “could have been very serious”.

He added: “I wouldn’t say the people were violent, it was much more about trying to be with the players. But you never know what can happen, the organisation was a disaster, it was incredible.

“After 20-30 minutes a couple of people were on the pitch, then they couldn’t start the second-half because they had people on the pitch and the referee said if it happens again he will stop the game. It was very messy.”

Local media reported a group of supporters jumped over perimeter fencing at Charlety Stadium moments before the pitch invasion started.

It is the second time in five years that a game between the two countries has been called off because of crowd disturbances.

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Senegal were disqualified from the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations when a riot led to a playoff between the sides being abandoned.

-By BBC-

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