Based on all the fuss that went on after Giggsy’s freekick, there have been rumours that Lille could be ejected from the 2nd round after the manager was seen to have called the players off to the touchline and refuse to continue until they had protested to the ref.
If you add the crowd trouble at the beginning and end of the game (flares, tear gas, missiles, etc), there’s not much to be said in Lille’s defence.
Manchester United for one would welcome not having to play the return leg – despite the value of playing against European opposition in a crunch game (in revenues and as preparation for the quarterfinals), Manchester United would welcome the break.
Personally though, I’m against throwing Lille out. No, not because I want Manchester United to thump Lille senseless. I say this because playing in the game will help Lille grow as a team and as a club, and that is FIFA’s and UEFA’s primary responsibility.
If a team like Inter or Manchester United fail to control their team and crowd, there’s legitimate cause for dismissal. As I said here, Lille are woefully inexprienced and had no idea how to react to the circumstances.
Lille’s punishment should be a fine and a warning that the next infraction will have serious consequences such as playing behind closed doors or not playing at all.
As for the tensions between Lille and Manchester United, Ferguson and Puel should meet up, sort out their differences and get it over with. Lille got it wrong, but Ferguson was wrong to attack them too.
What do you guys think? Should Lille be booted? Should United and Lille make up?