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Pitch invasions end Ivory Coast - Senegal match early in Paris

Supporters invade the pitch leading the referee to bring the friendly football match Ivory Coast vs Senegal to a premature end, on March 27, 2017, at the Charlety Stadium in Paris. Thomas SAMSON / AFP

The Senegal-Côte d'Ivoire game in Paris on Monday evening had to be called off after the crowd's incursion onto the pitch.

The sides were level at 1-1 when French referee Tony Chapron called off the match in the 88th minute as fans from both sides flooded onto the pitch.

The players, quite understandably, quickly did one down the tunnel and the referee was forced to abandon the game. But note before Senegal’s Lamine Gassama was rugby tackled to the floor by an enthusiastic fan.

Liverpool forward Sadio Mane had given Senegal the lead on 67 minutes from the penalty spot but Fulham's Cyriac Gohi Bi equalised for the Ivorians just four minutes later.

But after the latest in a number of pitch invasions, Chapron had had enough and the game was brought to a premature end.

Wilmots watching

The game came just three days after Côte d'Ivoire won 2-0 in Russia.

In the Charlety stadium in the south of Paris, the Elephants were watched by former Belgium coach Marc Wilmots, who will assume his coaching duties with ôte d'Ivoire on 1 April.

African World Cup qualifying resumes in August with Côte d'Ivoire two points clear of Morocco and Gabon at the top of Group C with four points after two games and Senegal a point behind Burkina Faso and South Africa in Group D.

This isn’t the first time a game between these two has been called off prematurely: when similar disturbances occurred during a play-off in 2012, Senegal were barred from competing in the 2013 Africa Cup of Nations.

But as to whether sanctions will be handed down this time, one can only wait.