The Ligue 1 match between Nice and Marseille on Wednesday was paused after homophobic banners were displayed.Two signs including homophobic language were seen in the crowd at Allianz Riviera, leading referee Clement Turpin to stop the game.A delay of around five minutes followed before the match got back under way, with Nice player Wylan Cyprien critical of the interruption. Editors’ Picks What is Manchester United’s ownership situation and how would Kevin Glazer’s sale of shares affect the club? Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream “We can’t stop a game every time that stupid people act like that,” he said to Canal+. “I am against every discrimination, homophobia or racism.”But we can’t stop games for that. It’s ridiculous.”Referees in France have been instructed to stop matches if homophobic banners are displayed, or homophobic chanting is heard, during the 2019-20 season.The Ligue 2 match between Nancy and Le Mans on August 16 was the first to be temporarily suspended, while a referee threatened to do the same during the meeting of Monaco and Nimes in the top flight on Sunday.The controversy at Nice came in the week British billionaire Jim Ratcliffe completed his long-awaited takeover. Ratcliffe is the president of petrochemicals company INEOS, which this year bought the cycling outfit formerly known as Team Sky.INEOS already owns Swiss Challenge League side Lausanne Sport, which it acquired in November 2017, and the company will remain on as Nice’s main sponsor for the 2019-20 season.The club lost their first match of the campaign on Wednesday, with Marseille finishing as 2-1 winners away from home.Marseille originally took the lead in the first half on a goal from Dario Benedetto before Cyprien levelled the match from the spot in the 66th minute.However, a Dimitri Payet penalty in the 73rd minute sealed the match for Marseille, who picked up the club’s first win of the season having amassed one point from their first two matches.Next up for Nice is a visit to Rennes on Sunday while Marseille visit Saint-Etienne on Sunday as well.
Sergio Busquets accepts he will have to fight to keep his place in Barcelona’s midfield after returning to the starting side for Tuesday’s win over Villarreal.First-half goals from Antoine Griezmann and Arthur secured a 2-1 victory for the Spanish champions and eased the pressure on Ernesto Valverde.Barca moved up to fourth in La Liga with their latest win, just a point behind current leaders Granada. Article continues below Editors’ Picks Ox-rated! Dream night in Genk for Liverpool ace after injury nightmare Messi a man for all Champions League seasons – but will this really be Barcelona’s? Are Chelsea this season’s Ajax? Super-subs Batshuayi & Pulisic show Blues can dare to dream Time for another transfer? Giroud’s Chelsea spell set to end like his Arsenal career Valverde recalled experienced Spain international Busquets for the Camp Nou encounter after leaving him out of the team that suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to Granada at the weekend.The 31-year-old also watched from the bench when Barca lost their La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao and knows his spot in the XI is no longer guaranteed.”I’m fine,” Busquets told Diario Sport.”There’s a lot of competition in the centre of the pitch and there are players who are still out.”The competition is good because it forces us to improve our level. I’m going to work hard to earn a place.”W Barça pick up big points!Barça ( @AntoGriezmann 6′; @arthurhromelo , 15′)Villarreal (Cazorla, 44′) pic.twitter.com/gXD2oupv9G — FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 24, 2019 Busquets returned to the XI alongside goal-scorer Arthur but the third of Valverde’s three changes backfired as an adductor injury ended Lionel Messi’s involvement at half-time.The Barca captain was making his first start of the season after overcoming a calf problem.Busquets hopes Messi can return to full fitness as soon as possible, insisting Barca are incomplete without their “best player” leading the attack.Busquets said: “It’s inconvenient because he’s our best player, the best in the world.”I hope it’s as minor as possible and that he returns to the team as soon as possible.”Valverde’s are back in La Liga action away at Getafe on Saturday, ahead of a Champions League home match against Inter four days later.