The Ligue 1 fixture between Lyon and Marseille has been abandoned after what the Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) termed a "cowardly assault" on Dimitri Payet, adding that the playmaker had also been target of discriminatory insults.
Payet appeared to be struck by a water bottle thrown from the crowd which prompted the referee to lead the two groups of players back to the dressing rooms after just five minutes of play.
With the scoreline poised at 0-0, the decision was taken to restart the match following a suspension, but Marseille reportedly refused to return to the pitch despite Lyon’s willingness to resume.
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In a statement confirming that the match had been abandoned, the LFP said incidents such as these were destroying the image of Ligue 1.
"The LFP strongly condemns the violent aggression suffered by Dimitri Payet during the Olympique Lyonnais - Olympique de Marseille meeting. Following this cowardly assault, Dimitri Payet was also the target of discriminatory insults," began the statement.
"Despite the firmness of the decisions of the Disciplinary Commission of the LFP since the start of the season (withdrawal of points, closed-door matches, closure of the stands) and the work carried out with the government authorities to more effectively punish violent individuals in the stadiums, these new serious incidents are a reminder that the safety of the matches are the responsibility of the home club and the local authorities, who are ultimately responsible for resuming or definitively stopping the match.
"Under these conditions, the league regrets the decision to resume the Olympique Lyonnais - Olympique de Marseille meeting by the Regional Prefect, as was already the case for AS Saint-Etienne - Angers SCO.
"At a time when Ligue 1 Uber Eats is enjoying renewed appeal on the ground, these serious repeated incidents are destroying the image of the championship in France and internationally.
"After these new extremely serious facts, the Disciplinary Commission of the LFP will meet urgently from tomorrow."
This comes after crowd trouble during a Ligue 1 match between Angers and Marseille in September during which saw supporters spill onto the pitch after fighting in the stands.
Another incident in August which also involved Marseille saw Payet struck by a projectile during a match against Nice with the former West Ham playmaker throwing the item back towards the crowd.
Payet was sanctioned for his role in the incident along with a number of Marseille teammates and coaching staff while Nice were punished with a points deduction.
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