Ligue 1 chasers Ajaccio to play Toulouse in empty stadium

Ajaccio (France) (AFP) –


French football authorities have ordered second division Ajaccio to face Ligue 1 playoff rivals Toulouse in an empty stadium following ugly scenes over the weekend that started with fans of the Corsican club attacking the team bus of visiting Le Havre.

After hitting Ajaccio with a stadium ban for the home leg of their two-leg playoff against Toulouse, the French Professional League (LFP) ordered the Corsicans to face "Toulouse on May 23 in an empty stadium to be designated in the coming hours".

Despite the stadium ban for Wednesday's encounter, the decision means Ajaccio are free to continue their bid to rejoin France's top flight.

Le Havre had launched an appeal following incredible scenes in Ajaccio in recent days, although it was rejected by the LFP.

After one postponement, four red cards, a dramatic late equaliser and a penalty shoot-out, Ajaccio moved a step closer to promotion on Sunday.

The scheduled Ligue 2 promotion play-off between Ajaccio and Le Havre was postponed in surreal scenes on Friday after fans of the Corsican club attacked the visitors' team bus.

Le Havre returned home to northern France and then came back for Sunday's rescheduled game, only to see their hopes of promotion go up in smoke.

The match finished 1-1 after 90 minutes, but Ajaccio midfielder Mathieu Coutadeur was sent off in extra time after pushing the referee, who also awarded a penalty, which on-loan Lyon striker Jean-Philippe Mateta scored -- his second goal of the night -- to put Le Havre 2-1 up.

That appeared to be that, but Mateta was then sent off for the provocative manner in which he celebrated his goal.

Two more players, were also dismissed, leaving the sides to complete extra time with nine men each.

Ajaccio's Mady Camara made it 2-2 in the fifth minute of added time in extra time, forcing penalties, and the Corsicans duly won the shoot-out 5-3.