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28 Mar, 2017 11:52

Senegal v Ivory Coast match abandoned in Paris after pitch invasion, player ‘rugby tackled’ (VIDEO)

Senegal v Ivory Coast match abandoned in Paris after pitch invasion, player ‘rugby tackled’ (VIDEO)

An international football friendly between Senegal and the Ivory Coast in Paris on Monday night was abandoned after fans invaded the pitch, one of which tackled a player.

The score was 1-1 when a number of fans ran onto the pitch towards the end of the match at the Stade Charlety in the French capital.

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Senegal player Lamine Gassama appeared to be tackled by one fan who entered the pitch.

Referee Tony Chapron – who had earlier been forced to delay the start to the second half because of fans on the pitch – decided to tell the players to leave the field and called the match off in the 88th minute.

Senegal had taken the lead through a penalty scored by Liverpool striker Sadio Mane on 67 minutes, but Cyriac Gohi Bi equalized for the Elephants shortly afterwards.

Speaking to the BBC about the pitch invasion, L'Equipe journalist Herve Penot said: "[It] could have been very serious.

"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."

It’s not the first time a game between the two countries has been called off. During the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations, a riot by Senegal fans forced a match between the two teams to be abandoned.  

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On that occasion, stones, bottles and fireworks were launched onto the pitch during the match in Dakar. Ivory Coast were leading 2-0 when played was stopped in the 77th minute, and were subsequently awarded the victory by the same scoreline. Senegal were disqualified from the competition.