The Ligue 2 playoff match between Ajaccio and Le Havre was postponed after supporters of the Corsican club attacked the visiting team’s bus on Friday.
Normandy-based Le Havre beat Brest 2-0 on Tuesday and are fighting with Ajaccio for promotion to Ligue 1 — French domestic football’s top flight.
However, both clubs’ respective quests are on hold after some fans, from a group of an estimated 150, threw projectiles and rocks at Le Havre’s bus and blocked it from reaching the entrance to the Stade Francois Coty.
Regional security official Xavier Delarue reported that a single policeman suffered “light injuries” after a flare was thrown.
The LFP, which runs France’s professional leagues, later condemned the “very serious incidents” and the behaviour of the fans responsible.
An Agence France Presse (AFP) photographer who witnessed the incidents claimed that the windscreen of the bus was damaged and said an explosion under the vehicle affected the steering and the air conditioning.
Ajaccio’s players emerged from the stadium and tried to convince their Le Havre counterparts to go ahead with the fixture but were unsuccessful.
The match officials and both coaches hastily met and a delegate from the LFP ruled that the game was postponed until further notice.
“The match has been cancelled and postponed, but we do not have a new date yet,” Delarue told AFP.
The match is expected to be rearranged for Sunday with Ajaccio at risk of being forced to play Le Havre at a neutral venue, or behind closed doors, as a result of the incident.
“All the players want to do is go home,” Le Havre coach Oswald Tanchot told AFP.
Tanchot underlined the state of his players’ “psychological condition” to beIN Sports before adding: “The players are somewhat shocked — the decision [to postpone] is normal.”
Meanwhile, Alain Orsoni, Ajaccio’s vice-president, called out the few “idiots” responsible, claiming the incidents occurred on the “public footpath.”
“As far as the club is concerned, we decline all responsibility [for the events] and we will not accept in any case sanctions that would deprive us of what is rightfully ours [the chance to return to Ligue 1],” he said.
This was not the first time Corsican clubs have failed to control their fans in recent years. Lucas Moura was hit with a stick while playing for Paris Saint-Germain on the island early last season.
The winner between Ajaccio and Le Havre will meet Toulouse, who finished 18th in Ligue 1, in the first leg of their playoff, next Wednesday.
Jonathan Johnson covers PSG and the French national team for ESPN FC. Twitter: @Jon_LeGossip.