Lyon vs Marseille abandoned after Payet struck on head by bottle

Marseille president Pablo Longoria called it a 'dark night for football'

Sunday's Ligue 1 match between Lyon and Marseille was abandoned nearly two hours after it was interrupted when Dimitri Payet was hit by a water bottle thrown from the crowd.

The Marseille captain required treatment after being struck on the side of the head as he prepared to take a corner for the visitors in the fifth minute, prompting both teams to return to the changing rooms.

Marseille president Pablo Longoria called it a "dark night for football".

"Dimitri is affected psychologically, it's not normal," he told Amazon Prime.

"We always condemn any kind of violence, it affects everyone. Nobody who likes football can be happy tonight. The impact was a bit violent, he was very affected, with ice on his head in the dressing room."

It was the latest in a series of unsavoury incidents that has blighted French football this season.

Confusion reigned after an initial decision was made to resume the game following a 90-minute delay. An announcement later confirmed that the match would not re-start "given the security of the players was not guaranteed".

Lyon players initially came back out to warm up following an announcement that play would restart, but soon headed back down the tunnel with no sign of their opponents.

"My decision from a sporting perspective was always to not restart the match. Public order disturbances were mentioned," said referee Ruddy Buquet.

"The time taken over the decision is incomprehensible," said Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas.

French league officials said they "regretted" the decision to try and restart the match. The LFP's disciplinary committee will hold an emergency meeting on Monday.

An individual was arrested and taken into custody after being identified by stadium security cameras, police told AFP.

Payet was also hit by a bottle during a game at Nice in August. He had been heckled by Lyon supporters while warming up before kick off.

Nice were docked a point after the incident with Marseille, who on Wednesday were ordered to play their next home game behind closed doors after trouble during last month's clash with Paris Saint-Germain.

The game between Nice and Marseille was halted with 15 minutes left and replayed in its entirety two months later on neutral ground in Troyes and without fans.

Nice were also ordered to play three games behind closed doors. Lens incurred a similar punishment following a pitch invasion during September's northern derby against Lille.

Updated: November 22nd 2021, 4:23 AM
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