Lyon host Marseille in the final French Ligue 1 game of the season in a match that was called off on Sunday after protests in the first half that included a missile attack on team midfielder Dimitri Payet.
In the second half of the match, around 25 Lyon fans used two bottles to hit Payet, who left the field in tears.
Les goles retrouvé les pouvoirs troupes, Jouni Berghuis et Dimitri Payet ont été en tears.🇫🇷🔴 🏆♂️ #LAROSTOM #LAROSTOM #Saturdays pic.twitter.com/7esOzOQbkU — Ile nouvelle Vaucluse (@le_vasqui) April 30, 2017
Marseille players were also targeted by missiles thrown from the crowd.
Every @OM player of the 6th named who have played against @lucien_marseille during the 2016-17 season was subjected to missiles thrown by the fans. #LMALiv @lucien_marseille pic.twitter.com/MOrN1u0gkU — #FCWSiachetastic (@Fcsiachetastic) April 30, 2017
Given the traveling fans and game schedule, the match had a 90 percent chance of being played, but Football Leaks released an image of the planned kickoff times on Saturday that showed the game was likely starting at 2:30 p.m. local time. The request for the delay was not made by Marseille.
Police forces in Marseille did not deal with the game in an efficient manner and will likely come under fire for the delay. There were also likely issues with late arrival of an AFP team.
In the game’s final moments, veteran striker Mariano Diaz scored, giving the hosts a 2-1 win and a place in the Champions League semifinal stage. Lyon will be scheduled to play against either Barcelona or Juventus, depending on their Round of 16 playoff results later this week.
“Yes, I knew Dimitri had been injured and I was annoyed, but once the game started I was so happy because it wasn’t our game,” Marseille manager Rudi Garcia said. “After the way things had gone before, I did the game for my players and for the fans who knew they were going to have a difficult time.”
Other Ligue 1 matches were called off or postponed in Paris, Marseille and Rouen. Paris Saint-Germain-Angers in Paris, Sochaux-Sevilla and Metz-Reims were postponed in case of violence or arson.
At the Parc des Princes, riot police responded to several incidents of disorder outside Stade de France as fans chanted abuse at police and jeered at officers who tried to eject them from the stadium.
French authorities are on high alert for any protests that could hit the streets after a high-level meeting of ministers and police chiefs this week. Police also tightened security at various stadiums, including at Stade de France for the Le Classique.
“For tomorrow’s game, fans will be searched and they will have their tickets checked three times,” Patrice Rossetti, general secretary of the French Sports Ministry, told French radio station RMC. “It will be as usual, they will be redirected. Police will be deployed everywhere.”
France’s Ligue 1 final will go ahead as planned as the week is still open.
“It is all still open and there are protests across the country, it is a question of time,” Pierre Maurice Samho, president of the League Against Violence Against Women, said. “We are going to be there to protect the girls and women on the day of the final.”
Payet, who started the season in a hugely successful move from West Ham, showed no reaction when the bottle struck his face while walking into the tunnel. However, Lyon’s playmaker could join a growing list of stars who have struggled with the racism, far-right preachers and vitriol of Marseille fans.