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Sports minister calls for action after Marseille-Lyon crowd trouble

French sports minister Thierry Braillard labelled the violent scenes that marred Sunday’s Ligue 1 match between Marseille and Lyon as “unacceptable”.

Mathieu Valbuena’s return to his former club with Lyon provided a fiery backdrop to the fixture and the playmaker found himself at the centre of the action as tensions reached boiling point.

Lyon led through Alexandre Lacazette’s 25th-minute penalty and they also had a one-man advantage when Roman Alessandrini was sent off for a rash tackle on the impressive Valbuena.

Play was suspended for 23 minutes during the second half as Valbuena was pelted by objects as he prepared to take a corner – an assault that saw six stadium stewards come to the assistance of the player.

Upon the restart, Karim Rekik headed an equaliser and Marseille held out for a 1-1 draw.

Braillard voiced his concern over the grim spectacle as France prepares to host Euro 2016 and called for tougher measures to assist with the control of crowd behaviour.

“We are, after all, months from a tremendous event which is the organisation of the European football championship and I really call for everyone to assess what happened,” Braillard told French radio RTL.

“This is unacceptable and I think we really need to have much firmer controls.

“Marseille is a footballing city. The Marseille public is known to be a great public. I think there are security measures that must be respected and we can’t see glass bottles like that in the stands.

“Where are we going? Imagine that a bottle had struck a player. What situation would we be in today? It’s unacceptable and I think that we really need to tighten up controls.”

LFP president Frederic Thiriez has called an emergency meeting at the organisation’s Paris headquarters after a weekend that also saw clashes at the match between Bastia and Nice, while Paris Saint-Germain fans were involved in disturbances after their 1-1 draw at Reims.

Mon 21 Sep, 2015
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