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Lyon fans banned for chaos against Marseille 

The LFP has promptly banned Lyon fans for the upsetting scenes against Marseille, while it considers what further sanctions to impose. Lyon will have to play home games without spectators until at least December 8 as a result of the crowd unrest that forced their Ligue 1 football match against Marseille to be postponed.

On Sunday, when Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet was struck by a bottle thrown by a fan the match at Groupama Stadium was called off. A plastic bottle full of liquid struck the former West Ham midfielder on the side of the head as he was about to take a corner in a hostile environment. Payet required medical attention after he collapsed to the ground, prompting referee Ruddy Buquet to remove the players from the field.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas later apologized to Payet, and also revealed that a spectator had been arrested in connection with the event. According to a statement from the Ligue de Football Professionnel Lyon’s next home games against Reims will be played without fans, with a disciplinary committee set to decide any further punishment and the outcome of the game against 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. Starting from the opening weekend when Marseille midfielder Valentin Rongier was struck by a bottle when celebrating a goal scored by Payet against Montpellier, French football has been plagued by a series of incidents this term.

In late August also Payet was also targeted 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. 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.”

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