The Euro 2012 Group D game between Ukraine and France was suspended in the fifth minute due to lightning and thunder as torrential rain poured down at the Donbass Arena on Friday.

European governing body UEFA said the game would not restart before 1700 GMT (1 p.m. EDT).

Referee Bjorn Kuipers ordered the players to go back to the dressing-rooms with co-hosts Ukraine and France level at 0-0.

Fans, officials and reporters ran for cover and the stadium was almost empty five minutes after the match was interrupted.

If the game is abandoned, it will be replayed in full on Saturday, according to UEFA rules.

(Reporting by Mike Collett and Simon Evans; Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by Ed Osmond)