Ligue 1: Lyon vs. Marseille will not resume after Dimitri Payet hit on head by bottle from crowd


The Ligue 1 clash between Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique de Marseille at Groupama Stadium was interrupted on Sunday when the visitors’ Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle thrown by the home support.

The box-office clash was goalless and just five minutes old when the 34-year-old was struck as he prepared to take a corner. The incident prompted referee Ruddy Buquet to send both teams back to the locker rooms as the game was suspended.

Payet exited the pitch with an ice pack and was deemed unfit to continue the encounter after the decision was initially made to resume over an hour on from the incident with the French league and local authorities at odds over responsibility for the decision.

“The LFP strongly condemns the violent and aggressive act against Dimitri Payet during the OL-OM match,” read a statement. Following this cowardly assault, the player was also targeted by discriminatory insults.

“Despite firm sanctions by the LFP disciplinary committee so far this season (docked points, matches behind closed doors and stand closures) and work done with government authorities to punish violent individuals more effectively, these latest incidents are a reminder that safety is the responsibility of the home club and authorities who can resume or definitively stop games.

“The league regrets the local authorities’ decision to resume in these conditions, as was also the case between AS Saint-Etienne and Angers SCO.

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“Ligue 1 is currently enjoying renewed appeal on the pitch and the serious nature of these repeat incidents destroy the French league’s international image.

“The LFP’s disciplinary committee will hold an emergency meeting on Monday after these extremely serious developments.”

A second decision was taken to not resume and this is just the latest in a string of unsavory incidents which have marred an attractive French season. Of note, OGC Nice’s clash with Marseille was abandoned due to similar circumstances, which eventually led to a mass brawl and the match being replayed at a neutral venue.

Nice were docked one point with another in suspended sentence and Payet himself received a one-game ban while RC Lens against Lille OSC was another high-profile match which suffered crowd disorder as rival fans threw projectiles before storming the pitch.

“After the temporary interruption of the OL-OM game, a crisis unit brought the authorities, clubs and referees together,” read a brief statement from the local authorities on social media. “Contrary to rumors, the decision to restart the game is not up to the local authorities. It belongs to the referee.

“The authorities firmly deny the LFP statement,” they later added. “In no case was the decision taken to resume which was not even our decision to make. The decision was that of the referee with the authorities and club presidents among those present.”

Saint-Etienne against Angers, as mentioned in the LFP release, was also forced to resume after crowd incidents.





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