Marseille handed suspended European ban

UEFA has handed Marseille a suspended European ban after incidents in four Europa League matches last season.

Marseille fans light flares ahead of the Europa League final   -  Getty Images

Marseille will be banned from the next European competition it qualifies for should it fall foul of any UEFA regulations in the next two seasons.

UEFA has taken a dim view of the behaviour of Marseille fans during the 2017-18 Europa League campaign, citing four matches where rules were broken. The games in question all came in the knockout stages of the competition, starting with their last-eight meeting at home to RB Leipzig, before both legs of their semi-final with Red Bull Salzburg and the final against Atletico Madrid in Lyon.

Marseille was charged with crowd disturbances, acts of damage, setting off of fireworks, throwing of objects and a delayed kick-off by Europe's governing body.

Having found the French side guilty, UEFA has revealed a lengthy list of sanctions, one of which would see Marseille excluded from playing in Europe for a season. That ban has been deferred for a probationary period of two years, but the other punishments come into force immediately.

Marseille's next home European match at the Stade Velodrome will be played behind closed doors and the subsequent clash will see areas of the stadium closed. A fine of EUR 100,000 has also been levied against the club, and it must pay for the damages caused by Marseille fans to the Parc Olympique Lyonnais during its 3-0 final defeat to Atleti.

Marseille finished last season fourth in Ligue 1, earning it an automatic spot in the 2018-19 Europa League group stages. It will have to wait until August 31 to find out who it will face in the competition.

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