Lyon bar fans from away matches after Cup tie flare-up

Paris (AFP) – Ligue 1 club Lyon have barred their supporters from attending away matches until further notice following the latest incident involving their fans led to the abandonment of Friday's French Cup match with Paris FC.


The club said in a statement on Saturday that "more than ever we must eradicate hooliganism and ban all those who are enemies, by their acts, of football."

It is the second match this season involving Lyon fans which has had to be abandoned -- their home league game with Marseille was called off after the later's captain Dimitri Payet was hit on the head with a plastic bottle.

This week's game saw flares fired off between the two sets of supporters and fighting around the stand containing the Lyon fans leading to people spilling onto the pitch and the referee called off the match at half-time.

Lyon were being held 1-1 by the Ligue 2 outfit.

"Until further notice and until the light is shone on who the perpetrators are, Lyon have decided to forbid our supporters to travel to away matches," they said in the statement.

Noel Le Graet, president of the French Football Federation (FFF), denounced the incidents as "intolerable" and the hooligans had to be "chased from sporting venues."

"The right decision was taken by the referee to stop the match as quickly as possible, he reacted very well in what was a difficult situation.

"These groups of pseudo supporters, who are at the root of these incidents and the violence, have no business being in a stadium."

The latest bout of hooliganism came just a day after the French government announced new measures to combat the rising tide of violence in French football stadia.

Among the measures was matches will be called off definitively if a player or official is injured by a projectile thrown from the stands.

They also demanded that decisions as to whether a game should be called off due to other reasons -- such as fighting between rival fans -- be taken within half an hour.

Also that such decisions were reached without club presidents being involved -- Jean-Michel Aulas, Lyon president, received a five-match ban on Wednesday over his behaviour regarding whether the Lyon-Marseille match should resume.

Plastic bottles are neither to be sold or allowed into stadia by July 1 at the latest.

Ligue 1 and tier two clubs must also have security measures in place from the 2022-23 season against projectiles being thrown, which the regional police chief can order them to install for particular matches.