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Game paused as soccer fans protest esports

September 23, 2018

BERN, Switzerland (AP) — Soccer fans in Switzerland held up play by throwing tennis balls and games consoles on the field in an unusual protest against esports on Sunday.

The referee stopped the Swiss league game between host Young Boys and Basel for two minutes early on at Stade de Suisse while the pitch was cleared.

Young Boys fans held up a giant banner with the symbol of a pause button and television pictures showed a black games console on the pitch with a slogan opposing electronic gaming leagues.

European soccer clubs are increasingly looking to have a franchise in esports leagues.

Basel fans also had a banner expressing support for the pre-planned protest.

Defending Swiss champion Young Boys won the game 7-1 on the same artificial surface where it lost 3-0 to Manchester United on Wednesday in its Champions League debut.

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