MARSEILLE’S TROUBLE: What’s going on with European football?
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas has apologised to Marseille’s Dimitri Payet after the forward was hit by a bottle thrown from the stands which resulted in their match being abandoned.
Fan disorder has blighted Ligue 1 in recent months and Marseille supporters were banned from attending after sanctions against the club for a previous pitch invasion and clash with Angers fans in September.
The game at Groupama Stadium was just four minutes old when Payet was struck on the head by a water bottle as he attempted to take a corner.
“We send him our apologies. The perpetrator was immediately reported and caught. It’s an isolated act,” Aulas said in quotes posted on Lyon’s Twitter account.
The players had been off the pitch for more than an hour when it was announced the match would resume, with spectators warned any further incident would lead to it being halted for good.
While the Lyon players returned to the field to warm up, Marseille did not emerge from the dressing room and the match was eventually postponed.
“The referee summoned everyone a second time to announce that he had changed his mind,” added Aulas.
“When there are 55,000 people in a stadium, precautions must be taken.”
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