Nice-Marseille Game Suspended After Fans Invade Pitch
A top French league game between OGC Nice and Marseille FC was abandoned on Sunday after fans leaped over the barrier to brawl with players and security staff.
The incident took place at the 74-minute mark of the Nice home game in France’s top soccer league. Fans were welcomed back at full capacity just this month. The brawl began when Marseille’s Dimitri Payet lined up to take a corner kick. A fan from the Nice supporter section threw a water bottle onto the field, striking Payet in the back of the head and knocking him to the ground.
Payet then stood up and threw the bottle back into the crowd, screaming in the direction of the throw. Payet’s teammates and Nice players surrounded him as security stepped in to try to intervene. But soon enough, Nice fans leaped over the barriers and overwhelmed the security staff as they stormed onto the pitch. Dozens of fans confronted Marseille players and created a conflict that lasted for several minutes.
? THIS IS MADNESS! ? THE FANS INVADED THE PITCH! ?
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The game was then halted as both teams left for the locker room. Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli had to be held back by his staff. After an hour of delay, match officials attempted to restart the game, but Marseille refused to return to the pitch due to security concerns. The game was then suspended with Nice leading, 1-0.
“Our players were attacked,” Marseille President Pablo Longoria told reporters. “We decided for the safety of our players, who were attacked during the pitch invasion, not to resume the match because the safety of our players was not guaranteed.”
Meanwhile, Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivère blamed Marseille and its staffers for the brawl and questioned why the game didn’t resume. “What catalyzed things was the reaction of two Marseille players, Rivère told Get French Football News. “Marseille’s security should not have come onto the pitch and hit our players. I don’t really understand why Marseille didn’t restart.”
On Monday, Ligue de Football Professionnel, the French league’s governing body, said that both clubs have been summoned to its disciplinary commission on Wednesday.
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