French ministers to meet football chiefs after Payet incident


Paris (AFP) – The French ministers of the interior and sports are to meet with football chiefs on Tuesday after the Marseille v Lyon Ligue 1 fixture was abandoned after Dimitri Payet was hit in the head by a bottle.

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 of Sunday’s match at Lyon’s Parc OL stadium, prompting both teams to return to the changing rooms.

Interior Minister Gerald Darmanin and Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu will meet with representatives from the French football league and the French football federation to see “what must be done”.

It is the latest incident in a Ligue 1 season that has been rocked by incidents involving spectators. 

An individual was arrested and taken into custody after being identified by stadium security cameras following the Payet incident, 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.

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