Football

Metz-Lyon match: 'Firecrackers are like bombs'

Lyon president condemns actions of Metz fans after goalkeeper Lopes gets hit by firecrackers

This is unacceptable and has no place in football.

Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas condemned the actions of the Metz supporters after firecrackers were thrown at Lyon goalkeeper Anthony Lopes with only 30 minutes played, resulting in the French Ligue 1 match between Metz and Lyon being abandoned yesterday morning (Singapore time).

Metz had taken the lead through Gauthier Hein just before play was interrupted at the Stade Saint-Symphorien, with the match officially called off after a 45-minute delay.

The incident could lead to Metz forfeiting the match and Lyon being awarded the win.

A dazed Lopes was seen lying on the ground after a firecracker was launched in his direction, with a second projectile then exploding underneath the prone Portugal international, according to images broadcast by BeIN Sports.

Lyon later said that Lopes was sent to the hospital for tests.

"When he returned to the locker room, Anthony Lopes hardly knew where he was. He was completely struck," said Aulas.

"It's very serious... at worst, the eardrum could be affected.

"That's why he was taken to the hospital."

Aulas added on OLTV: "Tonight, we saw some very serious things because our doctor was also hit.

"Talking about firecrackers but they are rather agricultural bombs. There had already been projectiles thrown during the warm-up.

"This kind of event is to banish from the normal life of football. Since the game was stopped, there will be probably a very heavy penalty for FC Metz and we should win by penalty."

Lyon are fifth in the table, while Metz are seven points adrift in 13th place, before this morning's (Singapore time) fixtures. - WIRE SERVICES

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