Fan disorder delays relegation for 27-time Swiss champion

LUCERNE, Switzerland (AP) — Fan disorder forced Grasshoppers’ game to be abandoned Sunday when the 27-time Swiss champion was about 20 minutes from being relegated for the first time since 1949.

Grasshoppers trailed 4-0 at Lucerne in a game it had to win to avoid relegation when the referee stopped play with fans crossing security fences and threatening to invade the pitch.

The Swiss Football League says the referee could not guarantee players’ safety.

Grasshoppers described the incident as shameful and unacceptable.

The Zurich club’s lengthy run in the top tier is likely to end with the game forfeited as a Lucerne win. The league says it will decide within days what action to take.

Two months ago Grasshoppers forfeited a league game at Sion after the game was abandoned due to fans throwing fireworks on the field.