Neighbour stops match to protest footballs in garden

The woman was protesting about the alleged constant flying of footballs into her garden (Image for illustration)

A woman who lives next to a football stadium in the Haute-Pyrénées was so fed up of footballs coming into her garden that she interrupted a match and refused to leave.

The match between the teams Juillan and Tarbes was in its second half when the neighbour - whose house is next to the stadium - invaded the pitch with a folding chair, sat down in the middle of the turf, and refused to move.

“It’s a negotiation,” she said, speaking to French news source France Info. “To get rid of me, they turned on the automatic sprinklers, and then they closed the gates of the stadium to stop me leaving when they called the police.”

The woman was protesting about the alleged constant flying of footballs from the stadium into her garden, which has been going on for over 12 years, she said, with players coming round constantly to pick them up, allegedly interrupting her day and invading her privacy.

“It’s my private property, and I would like people to respect my privacy, that’s all!” she said. “They come round to my house, so I should go round to theirs!”

The president of the football club, Thierry Bordagaray, agrees that the balls do go into her garden, but disputes her claim that the players go into her house to pick them up. The club has already lost over 40 balls because of this, he said.

Bordagaray has offered the neighbour a solution, he says, offering her €2 per ball, and a €20 per month payment from the club on top, “because all work deserves a salary”, he said.

The next match is on Saturday; with the president hoping the neighbour will accept his terms before bringing her folding chair out again.


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