La Liga to seek criminal action against pitch invader

1 / 3

La Liga to seek criminal action against pitch invader

La Liga Santander - RCD Mallorca v FC Barcelona

MALLORCA, Spain (Reuters) - La Liga's organising body has said it is filing for criminal action against the man who ran on to the pitch during Real Mallorca's behind-closed-doors match against Barcelona on Saturday to try to get a photo with Lionel Messi.

The fan, wearing an Argentina shirt with Messi's name and number 10 on the back, breached strict security measures to curb the spread of the coronavirus by going onto the pitch early in the second half.

A statement from La Liga on Sunday said the man accessed the pitch "without any authorisation and disobeying the protocols established by health legislation, as well as disobeying the orders of security staff".

"La Liga also wishes to show its absolute condemnation for this type of conduct that puts the health of others at risk and risks damaging the integrity of the competition," the statement added.

The fan, a French Mallorca resident, spoke to Spanish radio station Cadena Cope after being ejected by security personnel and police, revealing that he had scaled a two-metre fence to access the stadium.

"I had planned this ever since I knew the match was happening, I wanted a photo with Messi and to meet him because he’s my idol," he said.

Mallorca said they were investigating how the fan had got into the stadium.

(Reporting by Richard Martin, editing by Ed Osmond)