Marseille hit with stadium closure after firework incident

Crisis club Marseille will be forced to play upcoming games behind closed doors as a punishment after ugly incidents in their weekend defeat against Lille, the French league (LFP) said on Monday.

The disciplinary committee of the LFP announced that no fans would be allowed to attend games at the 67,000-seat Velodrome until their case had been fully examined. Their next home game is scheduled for February 5 against Bordeaux.

Marseille lost Friday’s game against Lille 2-1 but the match was held up by more than 30 minutes in the second half after a firecracker was thrown from the stands and exploded by the side of the pitch.

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It went off with a loud bang close to several players, including Marseille pair Jordan Amavi and Kevin Strootman.

“It hit me on the back, then it fell and exploded next to my foot,” said Amavi.

Marseille fans are disgruntled with their team — runners-up in the Europa League last season — who are currently eighth in Ligue 1, nine points adrift of the Champions League spots albeit with a game in hand.

They have won just one of their last 11 games and are already out of all cup competitions.