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Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 14 December 2018

Thierry Henry v Patrick Vieira clash postponed as more games called off amid security concerns in France

French league says encounters between Monaco and Nice, and Saint-Etienne and Marseille, also postponed on request of local authorities

A demonstrator waves the French flag on a burning barricade on the Champs-Elysees avenue with the Arc de Triomphe in background. AP Photo
A demonstrator waves the French flag on a burning barricade on the Champs-Elysees avenue with the Arc de Triomphe in background. AP Photo

Two more Ligue 1 games scheduled for this weekend, including the clash between Thierry Henry's Monaco and local rivals Nice, have been postponed, the French league (LFP) said on Thursday, amid fears of more violent "yellow vest" protests in France over rising living costs.

The LFP said on Friday evening's game at the Stade Louis II had been called off following a request by the government in the Mediterranean principality, "in collaboration" with authorities in the neighbouring French Alpes-Maritimes prefecture, which includes Nice.

Sunday night's encounter between Saint-Etienne and Marseille has also been postponed on the request of local authorities.

The latest postponements come after Paris Saint-Germain's game against Montpellier and Lyon's trip to Toulouse - scheduled for Saturday - were both called off due to security concerns, and the possibility remains that all other French top-flight games could be postponed, too.

Paris has been the scene of violent protests for three weekends running from "yellow vest" demonstrators unhappy at planned fuel tax rises.

Patrick Vieira, second from left, and Thierry Henry, second from right, combined brilliantly for France and Arsenal. Matthew Lewis / Getty Images
Patrick Vieira, second from left, and Thierry Henry, second from right, combined brilliantly for France and Arsenal. Matthew Lewis / Getty Images

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Read more:

Ian Hawkey: Former star Patrick Vieira under special scrutiny in France

Monaco throw support behind Thierry Henry after heavy defeat to PSG

Henry wants 'to keep positive despite negatives' after Monaco defeat

Big dates await Henry but Monaco must get back to winning ways soon

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

However, unrest has also spread across the country, turning into a broader challenge to President Emmanuel Macron's agenda and complaints that he is out of touch with the struggles of ordinary people. A new round of protests is expected this weekend.

The Cote d'Azur derby was due to see Monaco take on a Nice side managed by Patrick Vieira, Henry's former teammate at Arsenal and the French national side.

Henry oversaw just his second win in 10 games in charge of struggling Monaco as they beat Amiens 2-0 away on Tuesday with a brace of penalties by Radamel Falcao, but the 2017 champions remain in the bottom three.