There was a nine-minute suspension in the Europa League group stage game between Marseille and Galatasaray on Thursday night as groups of rival supporters threw flares at each other.
The Europa League group stage match between Marseille and Galatasaray has been temporarily suspended following clashes between rival fans.
Flares were thrown between the two groups of fans along with other objects as riot police had to be called to the stands to quell the trouble
The off-field scenes caused the game to be temporarily suspended at the end of the first half, with proceedings halted for nine minutes amid attempts to calm the situation.
Galasaray boss Fatih Terim and captain Fernando Muslera both tried to calm the fans down with calls for a stoppage, alongside Marseille vice-captain Dimitri Payet.
Polish referee Pawel Raczkowski stopped the match at 37 and minute, before play resumed nine minutes later.
The match ended scoreless, with a calmer second half played out peacefully despite fears that violence could continue.
It’s the latest in a growing string of ugly scenes that have marred fans’ return to French football this season.
The most publicized incident came on August 22 and also involved Marseille, with their Mediterranean rivals Nice moored a point after their Ligue 1 clash was abandoned.
Marseille’s Payet was hit by a bottle thrown from the home support at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, before fans rushed onto the pitch amid a scrum between rival players and staff.
Nice were then ordered to play their next three Ligue 1 home games behind closed doors while the match will be replayed next month at a neutral venue, without fans.
Lens have also been ordered to play home matches behind closed doors until further notice after their supporters stormed the pitch to face their Lille counterparts at the Stade Bollaert-Delelis this month, in a game where riot police were called after rival supporters threw seats at everyone. other.
These were not the first games with crowd problems in the league this campaign; Marseille’s Valentin Rongier was hit in the head by a bottle thrown from the Montpellier support during their matchday one match, causing a 10-minute match suspension.
Fans swarmed the pitch and flares were thrown during last week’s Ligue 1 clash between Angers and Marseille, while 16 Bordeaux supporters were lightly injured after a bus carrying them was pelted with rocks on the Montpellier road.
Jean-Michel Blanquer, France’s Minister for National Education, Youth and Sports, told LCI TV channel: “Some clubs have managed in the past to put an end to this unacceptable hooliganism.
“There are people who need to be banned from stadiums in the future for this behavior.
“We have to be firm. These people are damaging the image of the sport.”
Marseille and Galatasaray will both have ambitions of reaching the knockout stages of the Europa League, with their Group E completed by Lazio and Lokomotiv Moscow.