'Disgusting': Football world fumes over French league 'disgrace'

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Sen here, Dimitri Payet goes down after being struck by a projectile in a French league game.
Dimitri Payet was hit on the head by a water bottle thrown from the stands. Pic: BeIN Sports

Crowd trouble has marred French football again this season, with Marseille's Dimitri Payet injured in a disgusting incident has sparked widespread outrage.

The Marseille midfielder was struck in the head with a full bottle of water while trying to take a corner in the Ligue 1 game against Lyon, that was later abandoned.

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Payet fell to the ground as he was getting ready to take a corner kick after five minutes, and both teams were sent to the dressing room by referee Ruddy Buquet, who decided to abandon the match after a suspension of almost two hours.

Payet, who according to the French League (LFP) was also subject to "discriminatory comments", left the pitch with an ice pack on his head.

The stadium's announcer initially said that the game would restart and Lyon took to the pitch to warm up.

Jorge Sampaoli's Marseille players, however, remained in the dressing room, before the match was eventually called off.

"The referee believes safety conditions are not met," the stadium announcer said.

Replays showed the projectile smashing into the side of Payet's head, with the Marseille player dropping to the ground in agony, before he was treated by medical staff and helped off the pitch with an ice pack on his head.

The shocking scenes caused uproar around the world, with many outraged fans calling on French officials to address the problem. 

It's the latest shocking example of crowd trouble to rock Ligue 1 this season, with Payet also targeted in a match against Nice that was abandoned in August.

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

The northern derby between Lens and Lille in September was also marred by crowd problems, with the start of the second half being delayed by about half a hour 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 Saint Etienne.

Pictured here, Marseille's French midfielder Dimitri Payet holds an ice pack to his head after being hit with a bottle of water.
Marseille's French midfielder Dimitri Payet leaves the field after being hit with a full bottle of water thrown from the stands. Pic: Getty

Second-placed Lens crash to shock defeat

In other games on Sunday, Brest earned a third straight win in the French league by stunning second-placed Lens 4-0 to move away from the relegation zone.

Benin striker Steve Mounie, captain Brendan Chardonnet, Romain Faivre and Jeremy Le Douaron got the goals while Lens substitute Arnaud Kalimuendo was sent off for a tackle from behind on Ronael Pierre-Gabriel in the second half.

Brest couldn't win any of their first 11 games but have turned a corner, also defeating Monaco and Lorient.

Nice benefited from Lens's failure when Amine Gouiri's second-half double helped them to a comeback 2-1 win at Clermont, who had opened the scoring through Florent Ogier.

Angers moved into sixth place by edging Lorient 1-0 with a penalty from Thomas Mangani in the 67th.

Strasbourg equalised with the last kick of the game in a 1-1 draw with Reims as substitute Jean-Ricner Bellegarde curled home a free kick in the seventh minute of stoppage time.

Saint-Etienne remained in the relegation zone despite beating Troyes 1-0 with a powerful long-range strike from Peru defender Miguel Trauco in the 61st.

Opa Nguette came off the bench and scored twice to help bottom side Metz rally from a 2-0 deficit and draw 3-3 with Bordeaux.

with AAP

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