Two face charges over violence during Paris FC v Lyon Coupe de France clash

·2-min read

Two men linked to Paris Saint-Germain fan groups were on Wednesday charged in connection with the violence that led to the abandonment of the Coupe de France tie between Paris FC and Lyon.

The game was halted at half-time last Friday night with the score at 1-1 after supporters rampaged between stands and invaded the pitch at the Stade Charlety in southern Paris.

The men, who have not been identified, were arrested on Tuesday with a third man. He was later released without charge.

Two people were slightly injured after scuffles erupted during the half-time pause. Flares were thrown between stands as a groups of fans poured onto the running track around the pitch.

The Lyon players who had just emerged for the resumption of the match were quickly ushered back inside as orange-vested stewards formed a security perimeter around the entrance to the players' changing rooms.

Inquiry

Order was eventually restored after riot police corralled the Lyon fans into their enclosure.

The Paris prosecutor's office launched an inquiry on Saturday into intentional violence within a sports venue as security chiefs sifted through video footage from stadium cameras.

The Lyon president Jean Michel Aulas claimed in the aftermath of the clashes that Lyon fans had been provoked. Pierre Ferracci, his Paris FC counterpart, asserted that Lyon fans had travelled to the capital intent on violence.

Both clubs will appear before a specially convened disciplinary hearing of the French football federation on Monday to state their grievances.

The FFF - which runs the Coupe de France - will give its decision on 28 December.

Pressure

Football chiefs in France have come under pressure from the government to crackdown on the thuggery that has infested grounds since the start of the 2021/22 season.

Lyon were docked a point in Ligue 1 earlier this month after a fan threw a full bottle of water at the Marseille skipper Dimitri Payet as he prepared to take a corner at the Groupama Stadium in Lyon.

The 34-year-old collapsed to the ground clutching his head and play was stopped. The match was eventually called off nearly two hours later after often heated exchanges between officials from both clubs and security chiefs.

An emergency meeting of three government ministers and football administrators last Thursday drew up a plan to give referees more power to call off games within 30 minutes if players or officials are injured.

Friday night's match was cancelled 50 minutes after the players were scheduled to start the second half.

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