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Marseille punished for crowd trouble during Lyon match

Marseille punished for crowd trouble during Lyon match

PARIS (Reuters) – Olympique de Marseille have been punished for the crowd trouble that marred last month’s Ligue 1 clash with Olympique Lyonnnais at their Velodrome stadium, French football’s disciplinary authorities said on Thursday.

OM were fined 40,000 euros ($45,484.00) and ordered to shut the South stand for two games and the North stand for one game, with a suspended sentence of one game behind closed doors.

The disciplinary committee of the Professional Football League (LFP) issued the verdict over the Sept. 20 match, with the referee stopping play for 23 minutes after hooligans hurled glass bottles and other objects on to the pitch.

There were several incidents, including bottles being thrown on to the pitch, with France midfielder Mathieu Valbuena, once a favourite at OM but now playing for arch-rivals Lyon, drawing the wrath of the home fans.

For several minutes, a large inflatable Valbuena dummy was hung from a gallows in the stand. “You’re a traitor,” read a banner in the stands.

The presidents of both clubs also came in for criticism for caustic verbal exchanges in the media in the immediate aftermath of the trouble at the match, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

France will host the Euro 2016 finals with Marseille and Lyon staging games.

(Reporting by Brian Love and Michel Rose; Editing by Ken Ferris)

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