December 4, 2018 / 1:04 PM / 6 days ago

PSG call off Saturday game amid fears of more protests

FILE PHOTO: Soccer Football - Champions League - Paris St Germain Press Conference - Stadio San Paolo, Naples, Italy - November 5, 2018 Paris St Germain coach Thomas Tuchel during the press conference REUTERS/Ciro De Luca/File Photo

PARIS (Reuters) - Paris St Germain have postponed Saturday’s top-of-the-table clash against Montpellier amid fears the French capital could be hit by more social protests, the club said on Tuesday.

Police asked the league leaders to call the Ligue 1 game off three days after thousands of people rioted against President Emmanuel Macron and his squeeze on household spending brought about by tax increases on diesel.

Riot police were overrun last Saturday as protesters wrought havoc in Paris’s fanciest neighbourhoods, torching dozens of cars, looting boutiques and smashing up luxury private homes and cafes in the worst disturbances the capital has seen since 1968.

PSG lead the French league with 43 points from 15 games and were due to play second-place Montpellier at the Parc des Princes on Saturday evening.

Their next match is away to Strasbourg on Wednesday in a round of midweek fixtures, followed by a Champions League encounter on Tuesday, Dec. 11 with Crvena Zvezda in Belgrade.

“We accept this postponement,” coach Thomas Tuchel said. “We’ll have to manage this situation to stay in shape before Belgrade. Security is absolutely important.”

Reporting by Andrew Downie; Editing by Richard Balmforth

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