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Metz chief likens flare punishment to Bataclan outrage

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Metz chief likens flare punishment to Bataclan outrage
A flare hits the pitch in the match between Metz and Lyon on December 3. Photo: Jean-Christophe Verhaegen/AFP
11:23 CET+01:00
The president of France's Metz football team has compared a two-point reduction for flare-throwing to blaming the Bataclan management for 2015's deadly terror attack.
"I'd almost go as far as saying it's as if, 15 months ago, the law had condemned the Bataclan," Bernard Serin complained in controversial comments, linking the punishment of his side to the November 13, 2015, shootings in a terrorist attack that left 90 dead in the French capital.
   
The French league ordered Metz to replay their Ligue 1 match against Lyon which was abandoned on December 3 after firecrackers thrown by their fans injured visiting goalkeeper Anthony Lopes. Metz led 1-0 at the time.
   
Portugal international Lopes was subsequently taken to hospital where he was diagnosed with "acoustic trauma".
   
Metz were docked three points with one point suspended and the match will be replayed behind closed doors, Sebastien Deneux, president of the disciplinary commission of the country's professional football, said Thursday.    
 
Saying Metz were "victims," Serin blasted the punishment as "unjust, incomprehensible and above all dangerous as it gives supporters yet more power to influence the result of matches."
   
He said the club had identified the two men believed responsible for throwing the firecrackers and would see them brought to justice. The points reduction leaves the northeasterners in the drop zone.

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