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Football | France

Marseille and Rouen Cup match postponed



Tuesday's gas leak at a chemical plant in northern France has forced the postponement of an evening French Cup tie between Rouen and Marseille, the host club revealed.

"Following the gas leak at the Lubrizol factory the prefect for the Seine-Maritime (department) passed a prefectoral decree calling off the round-of-32 match against Olympique Marseille initially slated for this evening at 2055 (1955 GMT)," Rouen said.

The leak in the picturesque Normandy city caused a stench which wafted as far as Paris some 100km (60 miles) away, leaving many people in the region complaining of sickness and headaches.

However, authorities insisted the gas, mercaptan, was harmless.

The two teams learned of the postponement shortly after midday (1100 GMT) and a Marseille spokesman said the first division giants would return home later in the day pending agreement on a new date to face their third tier opponents.

Marseille said on their website that the French Football Federation (FFF) had agreed to call the game off after consultations with the local prefecture.

Snow had already threatened the game - a 12 000 sellout - although a Monday pitch inspection had led to the match being given the go-ahead prior to the gas lea

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