LIGUE 1: Nice vs Marseille abandoned after fans attack players, board member fights, check the mayhem on the ground – Marseille players refused to return to the pitch after clashing with Nice fans and the game had to officially be suspended as chaos reigned during the Ligue 1 clash. The game was abandoned in the 75th minute after the home fans threw bottles at the Marseille players, who returned the favour during the on-pitch melee. Former West Ham star Dimitri Payet was at the centre of it all, after throwing the bottle back after being hit on the head with it by the fans
A section of the Nice fans had been pelting the visiting Marseille players with bottles throughout the game, resulting in the stadium announcer telling the crowd to refrain from throwing items at players. However, the supporters paid little heed to those claims and launched a bottle straight at Dimitri Payet’s head, who in a fit of rage threw it back at the fans. Nice players and stewards tried to intervene but more projectiles were thrown and the referee made the decision to take the teams off the pitch.
French daily L’Equipe reported that visiting players Payet, Matteo Guendouzi and Luan Peres were injured in scuffles with the crowd and riot police were deployed in front of the tier packed with Nice fans. Unverified photos of Payet in blood have gone viral on social media, while more photos showed team-mates Matteo Guendouzi and Luan Peres with strangle marks on their necks.
Both Marseille and Nice retreated to the tunnel and play was held up for over an hour before the latter’s president Jean-Pierre Rivère appealed to his supporters over the sound system for calm and the home players returned to the pitch to warm up. After an hour of stoppage, the home team returned, but Marseille chose to stay away, forcing the referee to blow the full-time whistle.
One of the Marseille staff ran on and lumped a Nice fan ffs 🤣 pic.twitter.com/Vq0aq1rN1u
— Pato (@jpaterson97) August 22, 2021
Serious incident at Nice v Marseille. Payet hit by a bottle, throws it back into the crowd, supporters charge onto the field to confront players. OM players clearly furious. pic.twitter.com/sQd8E3VaTF
— Robin Bairner (@RBairner) August 22, 2021
French news outlet RMC has also claimed that Marseille’s president Pablo Longoria and former Nice player Jose Cobos had an ‘altercation’ in the presidential area during the chaotic scenes continued high up in the stands. The Marseille President Pablo Longoria said: “We need to set precedents for French football. The referee was with us, he confirmed that to us, that safety was not assured. His decision was to abandon the match, but the LFP decided to restart the match. It is not acceptable for us.”
Nice were leading 1-0 with a Kasper Dolberg goal until the 75th minute before play was suspended. Ligue 1 rules state that if a team fails to fulfil a fixture, then the opposition will be awarded a 3-0 win but Marseille would be likely to appeal such a decision