Lyon’s French Cup match against Paris FC on Friday had to be abandoned at halftime due to crowd problems, the latest in a series of violent incidents that ruined French football this season.
Trouble broke out between the two groups of fans during halftime at the Stade Charletty in Paris.
Shortly afterwards there was an invasion of the field, which made a restart impossible, and the decision was finally made to leave the game shortly thereafter.
The fight broke out between the fans during the halftime break, with the launching of flares and fireworks.
When the police tried to intervene, the fans began to spill onto the pitch, forcing the players and officials, who were ready to start the second half, to return to the locker room.
The fans were finally removed from the field when the police tried to restore calm, but the decision was finally made to leave the game, and the stadium announcer urged the fans in the stands to leave the stadium.
The match was tied 1-1 at the time, with an early goal by Gaetan Laura for Paris FC disallowed by Moussa Dembele shortly before half-time.
Club presidents point fingers at crowd troubles
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas and Paris FC president Pierre Ferracci appeared to blame each other for the crowd problems that led to the abandonment of the game.
Speaking to RMC Sport, Ferracci said: “I think Jean-Michel Aulas is interested in weighing the pros and cons well because he has a group of fans who shouldn’t be near a soccer field.”
“Aulas is smart enough to know that his club has problems and that French football will have problems if it continues like this.”
When giving his side of the facts, Aulas said: “Responsibilities are shared, it is a social problem.
“The first firecrackers to be fired were against Lyon fans and therefore they were not made by Lyon fans. Then there was a rebellion. We also saw hundreds of non-Lyon people on the pitch.
“We need to analyze and find those responsible. We will punish them, but we cannot take full responsibility.”
Crowd problems in France this year
French football has been affected by crowd violence and hostility towards players this season.
Lyon had a point taken from them in Ligue 1 last month because their clash with Marseille was abandoned after Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet was hit by a water bottle thrown from the crowd.
Marseille’s match with Nice was also abandoned in August following another incident involving Payet.
The former West Ham man narrowly avoided a water bottle thrown at him from the stands and threw it furiously into the crowd, prompting a torrent of ultras to leap over the billboards to take to the field.
Other matches involving Montpellier, Lens, Lille, Angers and Bordeaux have also been overshadowed by crowd violence, both inside and outside the stadiums.