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Swift action to be taken against Standard fans involved in pitch invasion on Friday evening

Supporters of the First Division football club Standard de Liège that vented their frustration at their team’s poor performance by mounting at pitch invasion on Friday can expect to be banned from attending matches from next weekend. KV Mechelen were already 3-0 up after just 18 minutes when the match had to be halted as visiting fans pelted the pitch (and the players and match officials on it) with tennis balls. Although Standard’s performance improved in the second half some fans further vented their anger by mounting a pitch invasion. 

The Mechelen-Willebroek Local Police Service says that the fans that were involved in disrupting the match will be identified and be punished straight away under the terms of the Football Bill. From next week they will be banned from entering football grounds.

A police spokesperson told VRT Sport that "Already during the first half the visitors displayed their negative side by lighting pyrotechnical material (smoke bombs, fireworks, firecrackers) and by throwing tennis balls onto the pitch. Due to this the match had to be stopped for a short time. Based on CCTV images the police will draught crime reports on the supporters that were involved”.

"The sad highlight of the evening was the pitch invasion by a few Standard supporters that wanted an explanation from the visiting players at the start of the second half. Stewards led them from the pitch and crime reports were drafted”.  

In a statement released on Friday night the Local Police Service said that in addition to any punishment those involved in Friday’s disturbances will receive from the Interior Ministry’s Football Cell (fines and bans from entering stadiums) measures banning them from entering football stadiums will be imposed by a magistrate next week. Those involved in the trouble are unlikely to be able to watch their team play live again for some time yet.

Friday’s game ending 3-1 to KV Mechelen.  

PCR

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