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French federation promises to act quickly after Paris FC v Lyon trouble


French federation president Noel Le Graet has said “quick decisions” will be made after Friday’s French Cup game between Paris FC and Olympique Lyonnais was abandoned over crowd trouble.

The episode, which saw supporters fighting and some of them coming onto the field to throw flares at each other at halftime, is the latest in a series of incidents that has been marring French football this season.

“It’s disastrous for football. It’s shameful and very sad to see that a nice French Cup match in Paris can degenerate like this,” Le Graet was quoted as saying by French sports daily L’Equipe on Saturday.

“Now, the responsibilities will be established on Monday. I have put all our teams on this case. They will study all the reports. We must know who these madmen are and where they come from.

“Yesterday (Friday), were there enough people for security? Was it well secured? It is not for me to answer. The federation officials are working and decisions will be made quickly.”

Lyon fans appeared to be the most violent but president Jean-Michel Aulas refused to accept his club should bear all the responsibility.

“I don’t exactly know what happened. We can’t blame only our fans. There was a chain of events … I’m waiting to find out what really happened,” he said.

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Games to be abandoned in France if projectiles cause injury

Lyon was docked one point in Ligue 1 after its home game against Olympique de Marseille was abandoned last month when Marseille forward Dimitri Payet had been hit by a bottle thrown from the stands.

The violent episodes in French stadiums prompted the government to announce on Thursday that games will be abandoned if a player or a referee is injured by a projectile thrown from the stands.

Among other measures, the government said a decision on whether to abandon a game after any crowd incident would be taken within a maximum of 30 minutes after it occurred.

It also pledged to uphold more stringent stadium bans imposed on violent supporters.

Nice was docked two points, one of them suspended, after serious incidents during their game in August against Marseille, when visiting players clashed with home fans who pelted them with missiles and stormed on to the pitch.

The northern derby between RC Lens and Lille was hit by crowd problems in September, with the start of the second half delayed after rival fans threw objects at each other before people ran on to the pitch, prompting riot police and stewards to intervene.

There has also been crowd trouble in Montpellier, Angers, Marseille and St Etienne.

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