St. Etienne were relegated last night from Ligue 1 after losing on penalties in their play-off tie with Ligue 2's Auxerre.
What followed were unbelievable and nasty scenes as fans stormed the pitch and began to throw flares and smoke bombs towards both sets of players as they scrambled down the tunnel to safety. Police then attempted to disperse the crowd using tear-gas.
You can watch different angles of the shocking scenes below.
Saint Etienne relegated to Ligue 2 and the place immediately turns into a Warzone, complete and utter chaos as both sets of players get attacked. 😳 pic.twitter.com/MKFZwU9oNy
— ßen (@BCAFCBH) May 29, 2022
The mass pitch invasion which followed Saint-Étienne’s relegation - players rushing down the tunnel as flares were thrown in their direction. (📽: @AdBlettery) pic.twitter.com/c8m0i9p6SP
— Get French Football News (@GFFN) May 29, 2022
It is the latest in a series of high-profile crowd incidents in Europe, following on from riots before the Europa League final, pitch invasions in the Premier League, and the controversy at the Champions League final on Saturday.
Saint-Etienne are one of the biggest clubs in France, and have won the joint most Ligue 1 titles alongside Paris Saint-Germain. However, they have not won the league since 1981.
This is the first time since 2001 and they have been relegated, while Auxerre secured promotion to Ligue 1 for the first time since 2012.
The penalty shoot-out came at the end of a tw0-leg play-off, with the first game finishing 1-1.
After the match Auxerre's Donovan Leon spoke about what it meant to him and the club.
"I experienced the descent in 2012, so coming back to my training club (in 2020) and finding the elite, it's a real pleasure! I've been through so many troubles... They made me come back, so I thank those who trusted me and believed in me. No one believed in us during these roadblocks. It was very complicated, but we managed to climb!
"For this return, we had nothing to lose, we knew we were the best away team in Ligue 2 and even when ASSE equalized, we did not panic. At the start of extra time, I told my teammates to stay calm, that we would go to penalties. And when we get there, I always ask the captain to let me start the session, because I know that, in this area, I am quite good. I'm not going to show off, but."