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Lille steward says barrier at Italy's Amiens stadium 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.

Published: 03rd October 2017 11:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 03rd October 2017 11:23 AM   |  A+A-

Stadium stewards and police officers gather to help wounded Lille' supporters following the fall of a barrier during a French League One soccer match between Amiens and Lille in Amiens, northern France, Saturday, Sept. 30, 2017. | AP

By Associated Press

PARIS: 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.



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