Space storm, pyros and rockets: After descent, mob goes crazy, injures players

Record champions AS St.

Space storm, pyros and rockets: After descent, mob goes crazy, injures players

Record champions AS St. Etienne have to start the bitter transition to the second division after a defeat in the relegation games against AJ Auxerre. After the descent, the spectators go completely crazy, storm the square and throw all kinds of fireworks around.

Black weekend for French football. Just one day after the chaotic conditions surrounding the Champions League final between Real Madrid and Liverpool, serious riots overshadowed the relegation of record champions AS St Etienne. After the hosts lost on penalties in the relegation match against AJ Auxerre, crowds stormed the pitch and chased their own club players.

The angry crowd threw firecrackers and pyrotechnics around wildly and aimed rockets at the players' tunnel, into which the players of both teams and the referees tried to flee. Others ended up in the stands of the stadium. Chaos and fear spread.

Not everyone managed to get to safety. The sad certainty followed the next morning: The riots did not happen without injuries. Officials reported a total of 33 - 17 of them fans, 14 police officers and also two players from promoted AJ Auxerre, who returned to Ligue 1 after a ten-year absence.

It wasn't the first incident of this kind. The fans of the record champions had already caused a stir with riots in the regular season. After the game against AS Monaco was interrupted for half an hour, the reason for this was the massive use of pyrotechnics, the French league had already condemned the club to a ghost game. But not only ASSE had to fight with the fans this season, there were several riots and interruptions in Ligue 1 games.

After their first relegation in 18 years, the owners of Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang's former club have released a statement that they will sell the club in the coming weeks. They took full responsibility for the decline of the traditional club and announced that they would "put the ASSE institution in the foreground". One thing is certain: The following owners will take over the club under the worst possible starting conditions.

St Etienne, who lost 4-5 on penalties, have won ten French league titles so far, along with Qatari side Paris St Germain, who should become the sole record holders next season.

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