Sports

Lyon v Marseille abandoned after Payet hit by bottle


Olympique de Marseille's Dimitri Payet walks off the pitch injured after being hit by a water bottle thrown by a fan leading to the game being interrupted at the Groupama Stadium, Lyon November 21, 2021. — Reuters pic
Olympique de Marseille’s Dimitri Payet walks off the pitch injured after being hit by a water bottle thrown by a fan leading to the game being interrupted at the Groupama Stadium, Lyon November 21, 2021. — Reuters pic

LYON, Nov 22 — The game between Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique de Marseille was abandoned after Marseille’s Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle hurled from the stands at the Groupama Stadium on Sunday, throwing France’s Ligue 1 into fresh turmoil.

Payet fell to the ground as he was getting ready to take a corner kick after five minutes, and both teams were sent to the dressing room by referee Ruddy Buquet, who decided to abandon the match after a suspension of almost two hours.

Payet, who according to the French League (LFP) was also subject to ‘discriminatory comments’, left the pitch with an ice pack on his head.

The stadium’s announcer initially said that the game would restart and Lyon took to the pitch to warm up.

Jorge Sampaoli’s Marseille players, however, stayed in the dressing room, before the match was eventually called off.

“The referee believes safety conditions are not met,” the stadium announcer said.

Ligue 1 has been marred by crowd trouble this season.

Nice were docked two points, one of them suspended, after serious incidents during their game against Marseille, whose players clashed with home fans who pelted them with missiles and stormed onto the pitch in August.

The northern derby between RC Lens and Lille was also hit by crowd problems in September, with the start of the second half being delayed by about half a hour after rival fans threw objects at each other before people ran on to the pitch, prompting riot police and stewards to intervene.

There has also been crowd trouble in Montpellier, Angers, Marseille and St Etienne. — Reuters

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