Goalkeeper shaken by 'powerful bang' in French Cup crowd trouble

·1 min read
Smoke on the field during Jura Sud and Saint-Etienne's French Cup meeting (AFP/JEFF PACHOUD)

Jura Sud goalkeeper Cedric Mensah described his shock on Monday after crowd trouble "cut the legs" from under the fourth-tier minnows in a 4-1 French Cup defeat to Ligue 1 outfit Saint-Etienne.

"The incidents cut our legs from under us. We were caught off our guard," Mensah told Le Progres newspaper.

The experienced Togo international found himself directly in the line of fire at the start of Sunday's round of 32 clash in Louhans.

The game was interrupted after just four minutes due to thick smoke on the field after an object thrown by visiting supporters just missed his head and landed close by.

The hosts conceded two quick goals when play resumed 20 minutes later.

"It was quite chaotic," said the 32-year-old goalie.

"I heard a powerful bang and felt a pain in my right ear. I had the impression that a bomb had exploded and felt the pitch vibrate.

"The doctor explained to me that if it had exploded closer, I could have pierced my eardrum. At the time, it really shook me.

"In the locker room, the referee and the match official asked me if I could continue and I answered yes and they decided to resume the match.

"Psychologically, it was not easy with the supporters threatening to throw another firecracker. I tried to ignore it but it remained in the back of my mind.

"It's a shame, it spoilt the party but Saint-Etienne was superior to us on the pitch, there is no more to say."

The French Football Federation (FFF) are investigating the incidents which are just the latest in a long list of disturbances in France this season.

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