Why Lyon was kicked out of the French Cup: Federation levels sanctions after fan violence

Lyon was expelled from this season’s Coupe de France (French Cup), alongside Ligue 2 opponents Paris FC, after the pair were forced to abandon their Round of 64 encounter earlier this month due to fan disorder at the Stade Sebastien Charlety.

The Ligue 1 heavyweights saw their trip to the capital interrupted at halftime after altercations between both sets of supporters spilled out onto the pitch, ensuring that the game was unable to restart.

Now, both teams have been handed down varying sanctions from the French Football Federation (FFF), with Les Gones in particular having the book thrown at them for the actions of their fan base.

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What happened between Paris FC and Lyon?

The clash between the Ligue 1 heavyweights and their second-tier hosts had reached the interval earlier this month at 1-1, with Gaetan Laura’s opener having been cancelled out by Moussa Dembele for the visitors.

During the break, flares and fireworks were hurled between both sets of supporters and fighting subsequently spilled onto the pitch when police attempted to contain clashes between fans.

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Though they were ultimately cleared from the pitch, the decision was made to abandon the game, with both clubs pointing the finger at the other in the aftermath through their presidents.

FFF president Noel Le Graet described the incident of crowd trouble as “disastrous” and “shameful” and Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas believed that “we cannot take all the responsibility, the responsibilities are shared” between the two clubs, but it was the comments from Paris FC chairman Pierre Ferracci that were truly the main event.

“I do not mind that the responsibilities are always shared [after trouble like this] but it always comes from the same clubs,” Ferracci said in the aftermath of the incident. “Paris FC has never had a problem in recent years and yet there are also tense matches in Ligue 2. Instead of insulting each other in the public arena, clubs like Lyon and Marseille would do well to to do the housework. We know the supporters [who caused trouble], they are still in front of me, they are being held by the police. There are smoke bombs and they are destroying the Charléty facilities and there is a fire in the middle of them. Police forces watch quietly. Jean-Michel Aulas must stop with claiming shared responsibilities, this is not the case. It is pure and simple madness. He’s going to make things worse. I told him that he was going to take French football into a dive if he didn’t clean up. He must take his responsibilities “

What was the FFF’s punishment?

The FFF has confirmed that both teams will be expelled from this season’s Coupe de France, ending any hope of the match being replayed behind closed doors, with potential Round of 32 opponent Nice instead handed a bye to the Round of 16.

Both sides have also been handed fines for the actions of their fans, with Lyon instructed to pay $57,000, while Paris must fork out $11,300.

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In addition, Lyon have been handed a warning that they could be excluded from next year’s edition of the competition if there are any further incidents involving their fans this season.

Finally, all Lyon travelling supporters have been banned from away games for the remaining duration of the Ligue 1 campaign to prevent further issues. The punishment is severe, leaving Lyon away supporters only able to attend UEFA Europa League matches the rest of the season.

Football across France has been dogged by hostility and controversy stretching back all the way to the opening weeks of the current season, with Lyon supporters having already been involved in an incident involving Marseille’s Dimitri Payet that saw both clubs docked a point in league play for the ensuing fan violence.