The Ligue 1 game between Montpellier and Clermont on Sunday was abandoned in injury time after visiting goalkeeper Mory Diaw was targeted by a firecracker thrown from the stands and had to be stretchered off.
Television pictures showed a firecracker landing next to the Clermont goalkeeper’s feet and exploding with a loud bang, just as the match was entering stoppage time.
A clearly stunned Diaw went down and needed treatment before being carried off, and the game was halted before being abandoned following a crisis meeting.
“The doctor who examined the Clermont goalkeeper certified that he was not in a condition to return to the field. The match is therefore halted definitively,” referee Florent Batta told media at the Stade de la Mosson.
Montpellier was leading 4-2 and on course to win its first home game of the season until the incident, and now risk serious punishment from the French footballing authorities with the prospect of having to replay the game without their fans.
Earlier Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was among the scorers as Marseille beat Le Havre 3-0 to claim their first win under new coach Gennaro Gattuso.
Less than 72 hours after squandering a two-goal lead to draw 2-2 at home with Brighton and Hove Albion in the Europa League, Marseille again netted twice early on but this time they eased to victory against opponents who finished with 10 men.
Le Havre captain Arouna Sangante’s own goal gave Marseille the lead in the 18th minute, and it was 2-0 three minutes later as Aubameyang delightfully clipped in a fine pass by Amine Harit.
It was Aubameyang’s fifth goal since signing for Marseille in the close season but a first goal in Ligue 1 in 10 years for the former Borussia Dortmund and Arsenal striker.