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Friday, December 7, 2012
ESPNsoccernet: December 11, 9:51 AM UK
Bastia given stadium ban

Ian Holyman, France Correspondent

Bastia will play their upcoming Ligue 1 encounter with Marseille behind closed doors after the Corsican club was punished by French football authorities for fan violence.

Trouble erupted in the stands late on in Bastia's derby at Ajaccio on October 21 following an on-pitch melee which led to the hosts' captain Johan Cavalli and Bastia defender Gael Angoula being dismissed. The pair were handed four-match bans after their clash led to supporters from both teams confronting each other with projectiles and flares being thrown.

As a consequence, the match, which eventually ended goalless, had to be held up for five minutes for calm to be restored.

"After hearing from representatives of the two clubs, the Commission has decided to punish SC Bastia with one game to be played behind closed doors," said a statement from the Disciplinary Commission of the French Football League (LFP). "This punishment will be enacted at SC Bastia's next home game."

After playing at Toulouse on Friday, Bastia's next outing at the Stade Furiani comes next Wednesday against OM.

Ajaccio, who started the season with a two-point deduction following verbal and physical violence by club officials towards the referee and assistant referees of their team's game at home to Lyon late last season, were given a €5000 suspended fine over the incident.

The sanction comes just two days after Bastia introduced a charter entitled Uniti Vinceremu in Corsican, 'United to win', which was described as "a moral contract between the club, its supporters and partners, guaranteeing the respect of the values of football".

The charter was drawn up in response to incidents during Bastia's Coupe de la Ligue quarter-final defeat at home to Lille on November 28. The tie was interrupted and the players sent back to the dressing rooms by referee Tony Chapron after one of his assistants was struck by a missile. After a delay of 15 minutes, the game was eventually played to a finish with Lille winning 3-0.

In the charter, club president Pierre-Marie Geronimi promised he and fellow club officials would "be exemplary in their behaviour at pitchside and within the confines of the stadium, all the while defending whenever necessary the attacks the club suffers".

Already suspended from official matchday functions following his behaviour towards the match officials and counterparts from Troyes during their meeting in early October, Geronimi saw his own ban extended to the end of January 2013 on Thursday following incidents between himself and the match officials of Bastia's home game with Valenciennes on November 10.

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