The Man With the Strawball: Referee Stopped Angers-Bordeaux Match When Fan Threw Water Bottle Onto the Field


A football match between Angers and Bordeaux was abandoned on Wednesday after a fan hit the Angers player Thiago after he had been struck in the head by a water bottle thrown from the crowd. The British-based organiser, the French League of Football, said in a statement that “preventive disciplinary measures” were taken against the supporters involved.

Angers went ahead with the match despite being down to 10 men for the majority of the match. The game was halted, however, in the 71st minute when the two goalkeepers were injured by a bottle thrown from the crowd. According to the organisers, the game was delayed by more than an hour until the injured goalkeepers were able to recover and the teams were permitted to finish the match behind closed doors. According to Le Parisien, after the teams left the pitch, police removed three fans from the stand and searched the stadium in search of other incidents. It is not yet clear if charges will be pressed against the fans who threw the bottle.

The incident is the latest in a series of incidents in France’s top league. In the last month alone, a supporter was banned from the stadium after a playoff match was cancelled because of a fan lighting flares. Two days after the game, a fan in the town of Correze was found guilty of murder after hitting a football fan with a drone as the two rivals were being filmed. The last match against Metz was affected by a pitch invasion and rioting by the opposing fans.

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