Games to be abandoned in France if projectiles cause injury

In total, six Ligue 1 games have been suspended - of which two were abandoned - due to crowd problems since the start of the 2021-2022 season.

Last month, the match between Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique Marseille was called off almost two hours after it was suspended, when Marseille's Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle thrown from the Groupama Stadium stands.

French football games will be abandoned if a player or a referee is injured by a projectile thrown from the stands, the government said on Thursday, in an attempt to quell crowd problems that have repeatedly marred Ligue 1 since the start of the season.

Among other measures, the government said a decision on whether to abandon a game after any crowd incident would be taken within a maximum 30 minutes after it occurred. It also pledged to uphold more stringently stadium bans imposed on violent supporters.

Last month, the match between Olympique Lyonnais and Olympique Marseille was called off almost two hours after it was suspended, when Marseille's Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle thrown from the Groupama Stadium stands.

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In total, six Ligue 1 games have been suspended - of which two were abandoned - due to crowd problems since the start of the 2021-2022 season in early August, an issue that, according to French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu, is putting the future of French football at risk.

"If a referee or a player is injured by a projectile thrown from the stands, games will be systematically and definitely abandoned," the government said in a statement.

"The sale and the possession of plastic bottles will be banned inside the stadiums, at the latest by July 1st, 2022."

The government took the measures after consulting all those involved in "fighting violence in football stadiums", adding it would also enhance video surveillance systems

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