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2019-20 French Ligue 1, Regular Season
  • Ángel Di María (11' PEN)
  • Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting (43')

PSG's win at Metz briefly paused due to banners

Paris Saint-Germain's Ligue 1 match at Metz was temporarily halted on Friday after the match referee paused play in the 20th minute due to Metz fans holding up banners that were deemed anti-gay.

Players were taken off the pitch but play was resumed a few minutes later, with PSG winning 2-0 on first-half goals from Angel Di Maria and Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting.

The incident comes after Nice's game at home to local rivals Olympique de Marseille on Wednesday was suspended for 10 minutes then resumed after fans displayed anti-gay banners and chants were heard.

Play was also stopped for a few minutes in a Ligue 2 game between Nancy and Le Mans earlier this month for similar incidents and during AS Monaco's 2-2 draw with Nimes last Sunday.

The French Football Federation has pledged to cut down on anti-gay chanting in football this season, with referees instructed to stop play if insults of an anti-gay nature are heard during games.

PSG were without Kylian Mbappe and Edinson Cavani due to injury while world record signing Neymar has yet to feature for the club this season as he attempts to negotiate a move to Barcelona.

Thomas Tuchel's side took few risks in the second half and comfortably recorded a third win in four Ligue 1 games, their first away from home after losing 2-1 at Rennes two weeks ago.

"The team put in a huge effort, it was not a brilliant performance but it was a serious one," Tuchel told reporters.

"It is obvious that we lacked quality in attack to create more opportunities but it was important that we won again, given the situation we were in [with so many absentees]."

Neymar, meanwhile, could yet stay at PSG after sporting director Leonardo said the club had not accepted Barca's offer for the Brazilian, who left the Catalan side for Paris for €222 million ($247.40 million) two years ago.

"The first time we received a proposal from Barcelona for Neymar was on August 27. They have not yet given us an offer which has met our demands," Leonardo told reporters.

"PSG's position on Neymar has always been clear: if a satisfactory offer arrives then he could leave but that is not the case. The negotiations have not broken down but there's no agreement for now because our demands have not been met."

Information from Reuters was used in this report.