Lyon will have to play home games without fans in attendance until at least December 8 as a result of the crowd trouble that saw their Ligue 1 fixture with Marseille postponed.

Sunday's match at Groupama Stadium was halted after Marseille star Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle hurled by a spectator. 

The former West Ham playmaker was preparing to take a corner amid a hostile atmosphere when he was struck on the side of the head by a plastic bottle full of liquid.

Payet went to ground and required treatment, with players taken from the field at the direction of referee Ruddy Buquet.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas later apologised to Payet and confirmed a spectator had been arrested in connection with the incident.

A statement from the Ligue de Football Professionnel said Lyon's next home match versus Reims will be played without fans, with a disciplinary committee scheduled to announce any further punishment and the outcome of the game versus Marseille on December 8.

Among possible further sanctions is a points deduction, with Nice having been docked two, one of which was suspended, following crowd trouble at their game against Marseille this season.

French football has been plagued by a series of incidents this term, starting from the opening weekend when Marseille midfielder Valentin Rongier was struck by a bottle when celebrating a goal scored by Payet against Montpellier.

Payet was also targeted in late August when Nice fans hurled bottles onto the pitch. Payet threw a bottle back into the stands, which led to a pitch invasion from Nice ultras. On that occasion, the game was abandoned and replayed behind closes doors at Troyes' neutral ground in October, with Nice served their points penalty.

Last month, Saint-Etienne and Angers saw their fixture delayed by an hour after angry supporters hurled flares onto the pitch and demanded the resignation of Saint-Etienne boss Claude Puel. There was also trouble at Saint-Etienne's game against Lyon, while the meeting between Lens and Lille in September was held up after rival fans clashed at half-time.

French sports minister Roxana Maracineanu told France Info radio: "They have to come to an agreement, this kind of problem is for the league to solve. 

"I think that everyone must understand that it is the survival of French [football] that is at stake."

Lyon's Ligue 1 home match against Marseille was abandoned after Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle hurled by a spectator, heaping fresh embarrassment on the French game.

Former West Ham playmaker Payet was preparing to take a corner amid a hostile atmosphere when he was struck on the side of the head by a plastic bottle full of liquid.

He immediately went to ground and needed treatment, prompting referee Ruddy Buquet to take the players off the pitch. Payet left the field with an ice pack pressed to the side of his head.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas later said a spectator had been arrested in connection with the bottle throwing, and offered an apology to Payet.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) said its disciplinary chiefs would meet on Monday, describing the rash of violent incidents in Ligue 1 as acts that are "destroying the image of the championship in France and internationally".

Lyon could face a points deduction over the incident, with Nice having been docked two points, one of which was suspended, after crowd trouble at their game against Marseille earlier this season.

The LFP said it "strongly condemns the violent aggression" that Payet suffered. "Dimitri Payet was also the target of discriminatory insults," the LFP said.

It added a firm warning that fan misconduct will lead to sanctions, stating: "Despite the firmness of the decisions of the disciplinary commission of the LFP since the start of the season [withdrawal of points, closed-door match, closure of the stand] and the work carried out with the government authorities to more effectively punish violent individuals in the stadiums, these new serious incidents are a reminder that the safety of the matches is the responsibility of the home club and the local authorities, who are ultimately responsible for resuming or definitively stopping the match."

There was a bizarre sideshow to the serious business of the assault on Payet, as the LFP and local authorities took contrasting views on what happened after the players were hauled off the pitch.

The LFP claimed a decision had been taken by the local Rhone prefecture to resume the game, but those officials hit out at the league authorities and said they had made no such declaration, stressing that Buquet decided it should start again before changing his mind.

Fans stayed inside the Groupama Stadium long after the incident occurred, in the hope of a resumption that never came, even though at one point it looked like doing so when the players returned to the pitch to warm up. 

The Rhone local government officials said in a statement on Twitter that a "crisis meeting" had taken place, attended by their representatives and others, including match officials and presidents of both clubs, at which referee Buquet decided the match should resume.

The Rhone officials issued a subsequent statement taking issue with the LFP take, describing it as "FALSE", adding: "The referee then invites the authorities and club presidents to his dressing room to say that he has changed his mind and that he is stopping the match."

There have been a number of major crowd trouble incidents in French football this season, starting from the opening weekend when Marseille midfielder Valentin Rongier was hit by a bottle while celebrating a goal that Payet scored against Montpellier.

Marseille and Payet were on the receiving end later in August after Nice fans hurled bottles onto the pitch. Payet was struck and hurled the bottle back into the stand, sparking a pitch invasion by Nice ultras. That match was abandoned and replayed behind closed doors at Troyes' neutral ground in October, with Nice served with their points penalty.

Saint-Etienne and Angers were delayed by an hour in starting their October 22 game after angry fans hurled flares onto the pitch and demanded Claude Puel quit as Saint-Etienne boss. There was also trouble at Saint-Etienne's game against Lyon, while the clash between Lens and Lille in September was held up after rival fans clashed at half-time.

Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle thrown from the crowd early in Lyon's home game with Marseille, causing Sunday's big Ligue 1 clash to be suspended.

Former West Ham playmaker Payet was preparing to take a corner amid a hostile atmosphere when he was struck on the side of the head by a bottle full of liquid.

He immediately went to ground and needed treatment, prompting referee Ruddy Buquet to take the players off the pitch.

Payet left the pitch with an ice pack pressed to the side of his head.

There have been a number of major crowd trouble incidents in French football this season, starting from the opening weekend when Marseille midfielder Valentin Rongier was hit by a bottle while celebrating a goal that Payet scored against Montpellier.

Marseille and Payet were on the receiving end later in August after Nice fans hurled bottles onto the pitch. Payet was struck and hurled the bottle back into the stand, sparking a pitch invasion by Nice ultras. That match was abandoned and replayed behind closed doors at Troyes' neutral ground in October.

It remained to be seen whether Sunday night's game would continue, with the players still off the pitch more than half an hour after Payet was hit.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) docked Nice two Ligue 1 points, one of which was suspended, due to their involvement in the chaotic scenes with Marseille last month.

The August 22 clash was suspended and then abandoned after home fans stormed the Allianz Riviera pitch in response to Marseille's Dimitri Payet, who was hit on the back of the neck, throwing a bottle back into the Nice crowd.

The LFP had summoned the two teams to a disciplinary hearing on August 25 to explain the unsavoury scenes, which saw a melee break out on the pitch and subsequently in the dugout.

On Wednesday, the LFP announced its decision to punish Nice with a one-point deduction, while also subjecting the French club to three games behind closed doors.

For inciting the crowd, Marseille star Payet received a one-game suspension while team-mate Alvaro Gonzalez faces a two-match ban for also provoking the home fans.

The fixture with rivals Marseille, which failed to be completed as the visitors refused to come back onto the pitch, will also be rearranged and played on a neutral ground without supporters in attendance.

"After reading the investigation report in the presence of the two clubs, the Commission decided to replay the match on a relocated field," the LFP said in a statement midweek.

"In addition, two penalty points were imposed on OGC Nice, including one suspended point."

Marseille physio Pablo Fernandez was caught on camera punching a Nice fan and, after already being suspended indefinitely by the LFP, he will not return to the touchline until June 30th 2022.

Of Payet and Gonzalez, France football's governing body added: "Regarding the players, defender Alvaro Gonzalez received two games of suspension.

"As for his team-mate Dimitri Payet, he was sanctioned with a suspended match."

Nice have won two of their opening three league matches following an unbeaten start to the season, while Marseille also boast the same record.

The Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) have summoned Nice and Marseille to explain the chaotic scenes that marred their Ligue 1 fixture.

Sunday's contest was suspended and then abandoned after Marseille's Dimitri Payet threw a bottle back into the stands at Nice's Allianz Riviera, prompting home fans to storm the pitch.

A statement from LFP said: "Following the serious incidents of the meeting between Nice and Marseille, the disciplinary commission of the LFP summons the two clubs for the session of Wednesday, 25 August 2021."

Marseille plan to take action to reverse the LFP decision to award Nice a 3-0 victory after OM's players refused to come back out to complete the match.

Captain Steve Mandanda justified his team's refusal to return to the field after supporters had been ushered back into the stands.

"Quite simply, for us players, our safety was no longer guaranteed," the goalkeeper told Marseille's official website.

"We are very clearly shocked by what happened. It is for us something unacceptable that the supporters can come on to the field like that.

"We found each other in danger. A lot of our players have been targeted or affected."

France's minister for sport, Roxana Maracineanu, has called on football's authorities to take action against Nice for the "intolerable" behaviour of their supporters.

"The fight should never have taken place, people should never have been able to enter a field," she told BFM.

"There must be penalties for the club in question so that it affects the fans of the team.

"It's intolerable because the first condition for a match taking place is that the safety of the players on the pitch is assured.

"I hope that the investigation, whether disciplinary or criminal, will make it possible to identify the culprits and to punish them as necessary."

Olympique Marseille intend to take action to reverse the Ligue de Football Professionnel's (LFP) decision to award Nice a 3-0 victory from Sunday's abandoned Ligue 1 game.

Play was suspended between Nice and Marseille at Venue Allianz Riviera with the hosts 1-0 up in the 76th minute when home fans flooded on to the pitch after OM's Dimitri Payet reacted to being hit by a bottle projectile thrown from the crowd by sending it back.

The situation spilled over as Nice ultras spilled on to the pitch and skirmishes broke out among fans, officials and players from both sides. The players eventually left the field of play.

Marseille head coach Jorge Sampaoli was demonstrative in the tunnel and insistent his players should not return given the situation, along with OM president Pablo Longoria.

The match was set to resume but Marseille refused to return due to safety fears, meaning the decision was made by the LFP that it was abandoned and Nice handed a 3-0 win.

According to Amazon, Marseille will take action to have that decision reversed.

"The league has decided to resume. We have decided, for the safety of our players, who have been attacked, not to resume the match," Longoria said.

"It is already the second time, we have experienced this in Montpellier. We had decided what happened today is completely unacceptable. We must set a precedent for French football by taking a stand.

"The referee agreed with us. He confirmed to us that safety was not guaranteed, he did not want to resume the game.

"But the LFP, for a matter of public order, wanted to resume. This is why we decided not to resume and to go back to Marseille this evening."

Three OM players Luan Peres, Matteo Guendouzi and Dimitri Payet were injured in the melees, while Nice claimed according to RMC that players Jean-Claire Todibo and Justin Kluivert were subjected to physical violence by Marseille's security staff during the on-field melee.

"It is disappointing that it ends like this," Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere said. "Things are quite clear... We had water bottles being thrown unfortunately but it is the reaction of the Marseille players to throw bottles back into the stands.

"Marseille's security should not have come onto the pitch and hit our players."

Rivere added: "What catalysed things was the reaction of two Marseille players… I don’t really understand why Marseille didn’t restart."

The Ligue 1 match between Nice and Marseille was suspended and then abandoned after Dimitri Payet threw a bottle back into the stands, causing home fans to storm the pitch.

Footage showed Payet was struck on the back by the missile near the corner flag during the second half, with Nice leading through Kasper Dolberg's 49th-minute goal.

Marseille star Payet then appeared to hurl a bottle back into the crowd, then a second lying on the turf, as his team-mates reacted furiously towards the terraces.

Fans then surged to the sidelines and forced their way past stewards and onto the pitch, where a melee broke out.

The referee suspended the match as security staff attempted to restore order, but fans continued to get onto the field of play and there were further skirmishes in the dugouts as players were led towards the tunnel.

Both sides were eventually taken to the dressing rooms for nearly an hour before Nice players returned to the pitch to warm up, with the game apparently set to resume.

The match officials set up play to continue from Marseille's corner but, as the visitors had not come back onto the pitch and were apparently refusing to do so, the referee ended the game.

Marseille president Pablo Longoria told RMC Sport: "We decided not to resume the match for the safety of our players.

"The league decided as a matter of public order to resume the match. This isn't acceptable for us. It's why we decided not to resume."

 

 

 

Mauricio Pochettino secured the first trophy of his managerial career as Paris Saint-Germain edged past Marseille 2-1 in the Trophee des Champions on Wednesday. 

In just his third game in charge of the French giants, former Tottenham boss Pochettino watched his side claim the trophy for the eighth consecutive year without ever having to get out of second gear. 

Mauro Icardi got them on their way, sliding in from close range after 39 minutes before Neymar, making his first appearance in a month after an ankle injury, added a second from the penalty spot five minutes from time.

Dimitri Payet pulled one back for Marseille in the 89th minute, but PSG held on to claim a deserved win. 

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