Twenty Years Ago The Bastia Stadium Disaster
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Twenty years ago: the Bastia stadium disaster: How to get there and how to buy tickets (2022)

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Twenty Years Ago The Bastia Stadium Disaster

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Nicole Sommer - Soccer expert Last updated: Monday, 04.July 2022 — 3min read

No matches were played in Ligue 1 last Saturday to commemorate the 20th anniversary of the Furiani stadium disaster that took the lives of 18 fans and injured hundreds more.

On the day of the match, the Bastia supporters gather at the Stade Vélodrome. The Marseille fans arrive later in the afternoon and start to make their way to their side of the stadium. Some scuffle breaks out between groups of fans and soon both sets of supporters are involved in a full-blown riot. stones are thrown, fireworks are set off, and Molotov cocktails are thrown. The violence quickly spills over into the stands; people are trampled, and some die as a result of injuries sustained in the fight. The riots lasted for hours and left more than 100 people dead on both sides.

The semi-final will take place at Bastia's Stade Armand Cesari, commonly known as Furiani. The stadium's capacity of about 8,750 is usually more than sufficient for the average Ligue 2 match of the club, but a semi-final match against Marseille is of a different category.

The directors of the club have decided that the small North Stand, built in 1948 and only able to hold 750 fans, needs to get demolished and replaced by a temporary structure that can seat 9,300 fans. This would result in a capacity of almost 18,000 people, which would more than double the original one.

On the evening of April 24th, an organization known as "Ex-Club President Vendasi" is contracted to demolish the stand located at the club. Despite there being no time to apply for the required planning permission, the stand is secretly demolished in the middle of the night.

On the next day, Representative Hurand finds out about the developments through the local press. However, it is too late to stop them.

Meanwhile, Bastia has contracted the firm Sud Tribune to install the new stand. Another firm, Space Locations, had initially also been contracted by the club, however pulls out stating a lack of time.

On Tuesday, the 28th, works on the new stand start. However, at the same day a strike breaks out at the port of Marseille which prevents the delivery of necessary materials. The French Football Federation (FFF) refuses to postpone the match, but Sud Tribune assures that they will be able to get the materials on the island itself.

This safety report follows on Wednesday, however, as was confirmed after the disaster, it does not include the confirmation of the official safety commission. Ticket sales can start though, but the Corsicans soon find themselves stunned by the prices that have been increased by 75% in comparison with the quarter-final.

A day later, the safety commission then finally approves work progress, although initial delays seemed to progress steadily over the weekend. However, on Monday (one day before the match), bad news arrives as the fire department has encountered anomalies and considers the safety of the stand to be insufficient. Frantic last-minute works are executed until a few hours before kickoff.

The first fans of Bastia are heading to the stadium early in order to show their support for the team. Throughout the day, more and more people join in on the excitement, waving flags and honking their horns. The stadium becomes completely crowded long before kickoff.

As kickoff approaches, the North Stand finally comes crashing down, dragging the rest of the stadium with it. As ninety minutes before kickoff come and go, the stadium is already packed and lively. However, those seated at the temporary North Stand are starting to voice their concerns. They compare it to being on a rocking boat and say that the tension is palpable. Some refuse to move up the stand while others call for postponing the match, but no decision is taken. As kickoff approaches, the North Stand finally comes crashing down, dragging the rest of the stadium along with it.

This is a view of the stand from the other side. Some pre-match images in the next video. A stand in question is the long one with the floodlights in the middle. This is a view of the stand from the other side, which shows that it's situated right next to another field's boundary.

 

At 8:00 pm, the players entered the pitch to warm up under a rapturous applause. Some people started to seriously frighten and some panic ensued. Engineers were tightening bolts and repairing defects at the base of the stand while people continued to seriously frighten and panic.

Shortly before the match, the stand had become increasingly unstable and the stadium speaker asked spectators not to move too much in order to prevent any further metal parts from coming off.

The upper part of the stand collapsed 5 minutes later, just before kickoff, and brought down 2,000 spectators and journalists. The back of the stand had turned into a gigantic mass of metal tubes, seats, and bodies. The spectators left on the bottom part that still stood tried to escape to the pitch. Players who had just entered the pitch helped them.

The pitch is turned into a massive open-air hospital, and an hour later the first rescue helicopters arrive. As the local hospitals are soon saturated, many wounded are airlifted to hospitals in Nice and Marseille.

?" During the following days, the death count slowly moves up. The first accounts of malpractice, incompetence, denial and blame soon follow. The central question is always "How could anyone have let this semi-final go ahead?"

An official report looking into the responsibility question soon concludes that several engineering errors, a lack of planning and oversight, the too-short time schedule, breaches of safety procedures, and general poor safety management and control (by the club, the Corsican football league and FFF) all contributed to the disaster.

The Foundation finds that the increased ticket prices were not reported to the FFF and as a result, an additional revenue was destined to go into the private pockets of the Bastia directors.

The safety committee had never officially given its approval after the fire department had initially given a negative advice, and that Bastia directors had never deemed it necessary to ask for planning permission, as they are more powerful than the mayor of the town.

Eight individuals were convicted of their roles in the Bastia presidential assassination and received varying prison sentences. President Filippi could not be convicted as he was shot dead two days before the trial commenced.

Last week, Bastia commemorated the twentieth anniversary of the disaster by promoting to Ligue 1. After the several services that were held last weekend, Bastia will this week play a commemorative match against a youth team. This will be followed by a pre-season friendly against Liverpool, a club who has also been marked by a stadium disaster.

For more pictures go to this slideshow. For more information, try this excellent resource (in French).

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Apertura ≫ Round 01
Today 00:00
00:00
1
37.8%
37.8%
X
27.7%
27.7%
1-2
34.5%
34.5%
1-2
7.58%
btts
48.5%
0 - 1
35'
F. Martinez
(OG) B. D. Castillo Segura
78'
1 - 1
1 - 2
90'+4
L. Di Yorio
16'
P. Bellon W. Tesillo
45'+4
L. Di Yorio
A. Vazquez Vitinho
46'
F. F. Waller Martiarena R. Sambueza
58'
68'
J. Alvarado I. Rodriguez
R. Chavez J. Martinez
71'
J. Guemez Rodrigo Dourado
71'
A. Cruz E. Garcia
71'
74'
O. Villa O. Rodriguez
74'
L. Montes V. Davila
74'
F. Ambriz F. Martinez
  • 56%
    Possession Time
    44%
  • 62
    Dangerous Attacks
    30
  • 12
    Total Shots
    15
  • 07
    Corners
    02
  • Today 02:05
    02:05
    4-3
    39.6%
    39.6%
    X
    27.3%
    27.3%
    2
    33.1%
    33.1%
    4-3
    0.26%
    btts
    49.7%
    0 - 1
    17'
    R. Funes Mori
    0 - 2
    21'
    R. Aguirre (A. Gonzalez)
    (11m) F. Gorriaran
    26'
    1 - 2
    (F. Gorriaran) F. Torres
    34'
    2 - 2
    2 - 3
    67'
    R. Funes Mori (11m)
    (B. Lozano) H. Preciado
    85'
    3 - 3
    (11m) B. Lozano
    90'+1
    4 - 3
    R. Prieto
    03'
    42'
    C. Montes
    45'+2
    M. Meza
    J. Carrillo B. Lozano
    46'
    R. Prieto A. Cervantes
    46'
    F. Gorriaran
    50'
    E. Aguirre J. Correa
    61'
    69'
    J. Gallardo A. Gonzalez
    70'
    E. Gutierrez C. Montes
    70'
    R. Pizarro M. Meza
    C. Orrantia F. Pizzichillo
    75'
    L. Suarez J. Gonzalez
    76'
    79'
    H. Moreno R. Funes Mori
    86'
    J. Rojas R. Aguirre
    90'+12
    S. Medina
  • 49%
    Possession Time
    51%
  • 34
    Dangerous Attacks
    32
  • 20
    Total Shots
    16
  • 07
    Corners
    06
  • 1
    52.6%
    52.6%
    0-0
    24.5%
    24.5%
    2
    23.0%
    23.0%
    0-0
    6.98%
    btts
    51.3%
    J. Mensah
    01'
    L. Zelarayan
    36'
    39'
    J. Elliott
    E. Hurtado
    39'
    P. Santos
    43'
    J. Russell-Rowe E. Hurtado
    46'
    S. Moreira
    59'
    A. Morris J. Igbekeme
    60'
    61'
    A. Bedoya
    L. Zelarayán
    66'
    69'
    M. Uhre C. Donovan
    69'
    J. Carranza C. Burke
    S. Zawadzki K. Molino
    80'
    M. Degenek D. Etienne
    80'
    88'
    N. Harriel O. Mbaizo
  • 65%
    Possession Time
    35%
  • 47
    Dangerous Attacks
    48
  • 19
    Total Shots
    05
  • 06
    Corners
    05
  • Today 01:30
    01:30
    1
    66.2%
    66.2%
    2-2
    19.4%
    19.4%
    2
    14.3%
    14.3%
    2-2
    4.33%
    btts
    51.7%
    (S. Lletget) D. Borrero
    30'
    1 - 0
    1 - 1
    41'
    H. Kessler (OG)
    G. Bou
    55'
    2 - 1
    2 - 2
    73'
    Brenner
    G. Bou
    38'
    44'
    A. Powell
    D. Borrero E. Boateng
    46'
    H. Kessler J. Bell
    46'
    56'
    A. Barreal J. Nelson
    56'
    R. Gaddis A. Powell
    S. Lletget D. Rivera
    69'
    72'
    H. Medunjanin Y. Kubo
    76'
    L. Acosta
    L. Maciel J. Altidore
    78'
    87'
    T. Blackett I. Murphy
    87'
    N. Markanich B. Vazquez
  • 55%
    Possession Time
    45%
  • 50
    Dangerous Attacks
    45
  • 17
    Total Shots
    13
  • 03
    Corners
    04
  • 1
    2.24
    +0.09
    3-2
    54.2%
    54.2%
    X
    24.0%
    24.0%
    2
    21.8%
    21.8%
    3-2
    2.72%
    btts
    51.2%
    E. Reynoso
    09'
    1 - 0
    E. Reynoso
    45'+3
    2 - 0
    L. Amarilla
    61'
    3 - 0
    3 - 1
    71'
    J. Savarino
    3 - 2
    76'
    A. A. Julio Santos (J. Savarino)
    M. Boxall
    15'
    33'
    P. Ruiz
    37'
    A. Herrera
    46'
    J. Loffelsend S. Caldwell
    56'
    A. A. Julio Santos R. Rubin
    66'
    E. Holt A. Herrera
    66'
    M. Chang J. Meram
    F. Fragapane A. Danladi
    69'
    B. Hlongwane O. Fisher
    78'
    L. Amarilla J. Hayes
    83'
    89'
    A. Brody
  • 46%
    Possession Time
    54%
  • 59
    Dangerous Attacks
    48
  • 19
    Total Shots
    13
  • 05
    Corners
    07
  • Today 02:00
    02:00
    2
    3.40
    +0.20
    1
    42.8%
    42.8%
    X
    25.5%
    25.5%
    0-1
    31.7%
    31.7%
    0-1
    8.21%
    btts
    54.7%
    0 - 1
    53'
    A. Long (L. Morgan)
    73'
    S. Nealis
    26'
    C. Harper O. Fernandez
    57'
    P. Klimala T. Barlow
    58'
    C. Harper
    66'
    S. Ngoma L. Morgan
    79'
    J. Tolkin
    83'
    F. Amaya
    F. Hernandez M. Tzionis
    85'
    A. Fontas
    90'
  • 63%
    Possession Time
    37%
  • 52
    Dangerous Attacks
    26
  • 16
    Total Shots
    09
  • 09
    Corners
    01
  • Today 02:30
    02:30
    1
    2.20
    +0.09
    1
    50.2%
    50.2%
    X
    25.5%
    25.5%
    1-2
    24.3%
    24.3%
    1-2
    6.03%
    btts
    49.8%
    0 - 1
    28'
    G. Vera (OG)
    0 - 2
    74'
    A. Shinyashiki (B. Bronico)
    (D. Quintero) F. Picault
    81'
    1 - 2
    D. Ceren
    56'
    S. Ferreira F. Picault
    61'
    D. Ceren T. Pasher
    61'
    61'
    J. Mora Y. Reyna
    61'
    Bender Ben Q. McNeill
    66'
    S. Ruiz
    67'
    71'
    A. Shinyashiki K. Swiderski
    71'
    O. McKinze Gaines II K. Jozwiak
    D. Steres
    72'
    G. Vera M. Rodriguez
    77'
    A. Lundqvist S. Junqua
    77'
    85'
    A. Shinyashiki
    87'
    J. Lindsey H. Afful
    90'+1
    O. McKinze Gaines II
  • 59%
    Possession Time
    41%
  • 62
    Dangerous Attacks
    34
  • 11
    Total Shots
    15
  • 05
    Corners
    05
  • 1
    2.00
    +0.07
    1
    55.1%
    55.1%
    2-2
    23.6%
    23.6%
    2
    21.2%
    21.2%
    2-2
    4.81%
    btts
    51.6%
    (R. Leal) S. Davis
    19'
    1 - 0
    (L. Haakenson) H. Mukhtar
    57'
    2 - 0
    2 - 1
    64'
    D. Asprilla (11m)
    2 - 2
    70'
    J. Niezgoda (E. Williamson)
    29'
    D. Ayala
    46'
    E. Williamson Y. Chara
    50'
    Z. McGraw
    C. Sapong A. Loba
    74'
    L. Haakenson J. Maher
    74'
    75'
    M. Loria S. Blanco
    W. Zimmerman
    77'
    80'
    F. Mora J. Niezgoda
    R. Leal T. Bunbury
    82'
    D. McCarty B. Anunga
    82'
    90'
    G. Fochive D. Ayala
    90'+1
    D. Zuparic D. Asprilla
  • 47%
    Possession Time
    53%
  • 13
    Total Shots
    16
  • 01
    Corners
    06
  • 2-1
    59.9%
    59.9%
    X
    21.8%
    21.8%
    2
    18.3%
    18.3%
    2-1
    9.93%
    btts
    52.6%
    B. Kikanovic
    47'
    1 - 0
    (J. Monteiro) B. Kikanovic
    87'
    2 - 0
    2 - 1
    90'+5
    B. Gutierrez (J. Duran)
    27'
    C. Mueller
    43'
    G. Gimenez
    46'
    A. Reynolds II J. Bornstein
    61'
    B. Gutierrez X. Shaqiri
    61'
    J. Espinoza B. Sekulic
    P. Marie
    63'
    72'
    J. M. Torres Ramirez I. F. Herbers
    B. Kikanovic
    73'
    P. Marie T. Thompson
    74'
    M. Lopez
    75'
    77'
    J. Duran K. Przybylko
    J. Gregus Judson
    79'
    C. Espinoza S. Salinas
    90'+4
  • 56%
    Possession Time
    44%
  • 57
    Dangerous Attacks
    42
  • 22
    Total Shots
    16
  • 04
    Corners
    05
  • Today 02:00
    02:00
    1
    1.34
    +0.02
    2-1
    62.5%
    62.5%
    X
    22.6%
    22.6%
    2
    14.9%
    14.9%
    2-1
    9.42%
    btts
    43.3%
    (11m) G. Lezcano
    39'
    1 - 0
    1 - 1
    42'
    M. Lopez (S. Cordero)
    (G. Lezcano) C. Waterman
    86'
    2 - 1
    21'
    C. Diaz
    46'
    P. Magalhaes C. Diaz
    46'
    A. Cuadra M. Fredes
    50'
    B. Hurtado
    57'
    N. Penailillo M. Collao
    M. E. Gonzalez
    63'
    J. Gaete C. Munder
    66'
    M. E. Gonzalez C. Mesias
    66'
    66'
    G. Tello Mery B. Hurtado
    75'
    A. Souper C. Rodriguez
    C. Waterman
    87'
    N. Sepulveda P. Cardenas Baeza
    88'
    G. Lezcano I. Villalba
    90'
  • 63%
    Possession Time
    37%
  • 77
    Dangerous Attacks
    57
  • 19
    Total Shots
    10
  • 04
    Corners
    04
  • Today 19:00
    19:00
    1
    58.4%
    58.4%
    X
    21.6%
    21.6%
    2
    20.0%
    20.0%
    1-1
    10.1%
    btts
    56.3%

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