Investigation raises questions about Amiens stadium safety

Local investigations have raised questions about safety at Amiens' Stade de la Licorne following last month's barrier collapse that saw many Lille fans hurt.

The Ligue 1 clash on Sept. 30 was abandoned after a barrier at the front of the stand housing away supporters failed to hold back fans as they celebrated a 15th-minute goal by Lille's Fode Ballo-Toure.

There were 29 fans hurt in the incident as they fell onto the perimeter of the pitch.

Lille chief executive Marc Ingla swiftly called for checks to be carried out at the stadium to determine what caused the barrier to break, and the Amiens prosecutor's office on Friday detailed concerns that will be investigated further.

In a statement widely published in the French media, the prosecutor's office said: "The initial findings by the expert and the investigators have revealed anomalies in the manner of fixing the metal barrier, as well as in those of identical barriers installed in the stadium.''

The statement, quoted by newspaper La Voix du Nord, added: "These anomalies concern particularly the fittings of the barriers to the concrete and the interlocking of the barriers.''

Amiens vice-president Luigi Mulazzi told the same newspaper: "These are anomalies and not defects. We take note of it (the statement), while recalling that we are tenants of the stadium.''

The stadium is owned by the Amiens Metropole local authority.

Amiens have been ordered to play their next home match, against Bordeaux on Oct. 21, in Le Havre. That means a round-trip of over 220 miles for Amiens and the club's supporters.

That decision was announced by the Ligue de Football Professionnel on Thursday, despite Amiens offering to reduce the capacity of their stadium for the fixture.