Football: Monaco handed two-point penalty for next season after fan violence

PARIS (REUTERS) - Ligue One newcomers Monaco have been handed a two-point penalty for next season following violent incidents by football fans during their second-division title celebrations, the French League (LFP) said on Thursday.

Fireworks were set off during Monaco's last home game against Le Mans before fans invaded the pitch after the final whistle. During the melee, the referee was struck by a fan, according to the match official's report.

"Regarding the seriousness of the facts, Monaco are condemned to one match behind closed doors and a three-point penalty, including one suspended, for the next Ligue One season,"the LFP said in a statement.

Big-spending Monaco, owned by Russian billionaire Dmitry Rybolovlev, are widely expected to be the main challengers to champions Paris St Germain in the title race next season.

They have already splashed out more than 120 million euros (S$200 million) to sign Colombian striker Radamel Falcao from Atletico Madrid, and countryman James Rodriguez and Portugal midfield Joao Moutinho from FC Porto.