Sunday’s Ligue 1 game between Lyon and Marseille was abandoned after the Marseille skipper Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle thrown from the stands five minutes later. The teams were sent to the dressing room by referee Ruddy Buquet, and after a long wait, Marseille’s players refused to return to the field as that was not the first time such was happening.
Marseille Records Another Trouble to Abandon Game
After they waited for the Marseille players to come back and no player came out, they had to call the off officially. It is the second time Payet has been struck with a bottle amid a series of incidents in French football this season. The first time it was against Nice in August when it happened, the game was also abandoned as the former West Ham player threw a bottle back into the crowd, causing fans to storm the pitch.
Nice were deducted two points, one of which was suspended, and Payet was given a one-game ban. Marseille midfielder Valentin Roniger also suffered a cut lip in one of the incidents. A bottle was thrown at him in the opening game of the season at Montpellier.
And the second half of the northern derby between RC Lens and Lille in September was delayed by about half an hour after rival fans threw objects at each other. Also, fans invaded the pitch, prompting riot police and stewards had to intervene to stop further damage. The latest incident at Lyon occurred when Payet was about to take a corner, and he left the Groupama Stadium pitch with an ice pack on his head.
When the incident happened, a stadium announcement was made saying they had arrested the fan that threw the bottle and the game would resume but warned further trouble would lead to abandonment. Lyon players returned to the pitch, but the opponent refused to come out, which led to the game’s postponement.
Lyon CEO Jean-Michel Aulas commented on the incident, saying they sent their apologies to Payet and the perpetrator was immediately reported and caught. It’s an isolated act, he added. He “also said: “Our players followed Mr Buquet’s orders by returning to warm up,” he said. “Then the referee changed his mind, so they returned to the locker room. They wisely waited for the decision and acceded to it.”