Violent clashes in the French capital have seen security forces ask for the top-of-the-table clash to be pushed back to a later date
Paris Saint-Germain’s scheduled Ligue 1 encounter with Montpellier and Lyon’s encounter in Toulouse have been postponed amid security fears as the ‘gilet jaune’ protests are ongoing in France.
PSG’s match was programmed to start at 4pm GMT (11am ET) at Parc des Princes, but the French League (LFP) has indicated that, following a request from the local police, they have agreed to push the fixture back to a later date.
“Following a request from the Prefecture of Police, the LFP has postponed the match between Paris Saint-Germain and Montpellier HSC,” a statement reads.
“The Commission of Competitions of the LFP will fix another date for the match.”
The news is not necessarily bad for the league leaders, who dropped their first points of the season on Sunday, when they were held 2-2 by Bordeaux.
The top-of-the-table clash was due to come in the midst of a period of heavy fixture congestion, with PSG playing on Wednesday against Strasbourg.
It means they will have a weekend off prior to a vital Champions League trip to Red Star Belgrade.
Furthermore, Neymar was expected to miss the Montpellier match because of injury but the Brazil star is liable to be fit for any rescheduled fixture.
Meanwhile, Lyon’s fixture in Toulouse, which was pencilled in for a Saturday 7pm GMT kick-off, has also been pushed back.
The ‘gilet jaune’ movement – so called because of the fluorescent vests that must be legally kept in French vehicles – was initially kicked off as a reaction to a government initiative to hike tax on diesel prices, which president Emmanuel Macron claims to be essential in reducing carbon emissions.
However, the protests, which have spread around the country, have become more broadly about inequality and unpopular austerity measures.
The French government is currently considering the possibility of declaring a state of emergency after riots in Paris last weekend saw the city’s worst violence in over a decade.
Cars and buildings were set alight and shops looted. There were over 250 arrests and 100 people injured.
There are fears that such problems could occur again this weekend and as such the police requested the postponement of PSG’s fixture.
The problems are more widespread than simply in Paris, however. Last weekend, Guingamp’s fixture against Nice was threatened by protests, while 75,000 people took to the streets across the country, with two deaths and an estimated 750 injuries.
Protestors have also been evident in the stands of Ligue 1 matches, wearing their distinctive attire, notably Lille’s fans when they visited Amiens as far back as September.
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