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League leaders left in the dark

Football fans were upset when the match between FC Basel and St Gallen was cancelled due to poor lighting Keystone

FC Basel's bid to stretch their lead at the top of the Swiss football league hit an unexpected snag on Wednesday when floodlight failure caused their game in St Gallen to be cancelled.

Engineers at St Gallen’s Espenmoos stadium were unable to get more than half of the floodlights working, leaving referree Carlo Bertolini with no choice but to abandon the match.

“I was worried about the players’ safety as you could hardly see anything,” he said.

The blackout could bring further depression to Basel’s nearest rivals, since the national league could now decide to award a 3-0 default win to the runaway leaders.

The league, which is set to announce its decision on Friday, could also call for the two sides to play the match at a later date.

Rivals falter

Despite not being able to play themselves, Basel had plenty to smile about on Wednesday as two of their biggest rivals slipped up.

Servette were unable to reduce Basel’s five-point lead after conceding two late goals in a 3-1 away defeat to surprise challengers Young Boys of Bern.

Defending champions Grasshoppers Zurich fared no better, conceding a controversial last minute goal to go down 1-0 in Lugano.

In Wednesday’s other action FC Zurich lifted themselves off the bottom of the table with a well-deserved 2-1 win over Sion.

swissinfo with agencies

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SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR