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Two Ligue 1 matches postponed because of expected protests

Two French league matches scheduled for Saturday have been postponed amid expected anti-government protests. The affected games are Paris Saint-Germain against Montpellier and Toulouse against Lyon. In both cases, the French league says authorities requested the postponement. It says the matches will be rescheduled. The government is grappling with widespread protests against fuel taxes and other grievances, with Paris plagued by rioting last weekend.

Paris Saint-Germain's home Ligue 1 game against Montpellier on Saturday has been postponed after a request from police in the French capital, the club said on Tuesday.

The match was due to be played at 4:00 pm (1500 GMT) at the Parc des Princes. No reason was given for the postponement but it is likely to be down to security concerns.

It is one of two games scheduled for Saturday in the French top flight to be called off, with authorities in Toulouse also requesting that the local team's game against Lyon that evening be called off.

Paris has been the scene of protests for three weekends running from "yellow vest" demonstrators unhappy at planned fuel tax rises, but unrest has spread across the country.

Demonstrations turned particularly violent last Saturday, with 412 people arrested after the worst clashes in central Paris for decades.

However, the French government backed down on Tuesday, with Prime Minister Edouard Philippe saying the planned increases in the price of fuel would be suspended for six months.

PSG are 14 points clear at the top of Ligue 1 after seeing their perfect record this season ended in a 2-2 draw at Bordeaux on Sunday.

They play Strasbourg away on Wednesday, but the postponement of Saturday's game gives them extra time to prepare for next week's crucial Champions League trip to Red Star Belgrade.

"Honestly I don't know if it's good or not," said PSG coach Thomas Tuchel when asked if the postponement would benefit his side.

"For me it is absolutely clear, security has to come first."

Outside of the capital, Toulouse's Ligue 1 home match against Lyon on Saturday has also been postponed at the request of the police.

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