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Nice, Marseille game abandoned after bottles thrown

Nice (France) (AFP) – The French Ligue 1 game between Nice and Marseille was abandoned Sunday when fans of the home side invaded the pitch and angrily confronted opposing player Dimitri Payet, who had thrown a bottle lobbed at him back into the crowd, before an ugly brawl broke out involving players and spectators.

Marseille eventually refused to restart the match with club officials claiming their players were attacked and that their safety could not be guaranteed.

Trouble at the Allianz Riviera Stadium flared in the 75th minute when Marseille star Payet, who had been targeted by plastic bottles every time he took a corner, launched one back at the Nice fans.

Angry home supporters then clambered onto the pitch, threatening Payet before the referee led both teams to the safety of the dressing room.

In the melee, Marseille’s Alvaro Gonzalez and Matteo Guendouzi ran towards the end of the ground to face down the fans.

Nice skipper Dante then attempted to calm angry supporters.

A security cordon of stewards, dressed in yellow vests, tried to stem the pitch invasion before a brawl broke out between players of the two teams, supporters and staff.

Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli was seen being restrained by his staff and players. 

Eighty minutes after the game was suspended, Nice, who were leading through a Kasper Dolberg goal, said they wanted to restart.

Marseille, however, wanted the match halted for good.

“The decision was taken by the authorities to resume the match, but Marseille do not want to,” Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere told broadcaster Prime Video. 

According to a source, the referee Benoit Bastien was also opposed to a restart.

“I think the match is not going to resume,” said Nice coach Christophe Galtier.

“We have just been told that the Marseille players have already showered.”

Eventually, the match was abandoned when the Marseille team refused to return to the pitch.

“Our players were attacked,” said Marseille president Pablo Longoria.

“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.”

Marseille’s opening 3-2 win at Montpellier two weeks ago was also held up when fans pelted the pitch with bottles.

That clash at Montpellier’s Stade Mosson was halted in the 89th minute after Marseille substitute Valentin Rongier was hit on the head.

Montpellier’s Florent Mollet was also hit as he readied to take a corner.

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  1. Barbara O. Chamberlain

    August 23, 2021 at 11:03 am

    I wonder what’s going on in the heads of these so-called supporters!! So-called because they are not there to support the players. People!!! The beautiful game of Football is played with 2 teams (as are all games for that matter)!! Root for your team with gusto but understand that both teams are playing to win!!! I you cannot be civilized in a stadium filled with supports of both teams! Stay home!!!!!!!! PLEASE!!! it’s ignorance! Big Time! Whoever wants and needs to throw bottles and other implements on the players on the pitch of a game, PLEASE DO NOT GO TO THE STADIUM!!! STAY HOME!!! THROW WHATEVER YOU WANT ON THE TV IN WHICH CASE, YOU WILL ONLY HURT YOUR POCKECT STUPID (as you’ll definitely have to go purchase a new tv) and while YOU WONT BE ABLE TO CONTINUE WATCHING THE GAME BECAUSE OF YOUR STUPIDITY AND ANGER, I can, along with the rest of the other sane, controlled minded people!!!

  2. Yespage

    August 23, 2021 at 8:26 am

    Please substitute Lyon for Nice.

  3. Yespage

    August 23, 2021 at 8:24 am

    There is a good deal of pent up frustration across the Western Hemisphere, due to the pandemic. However, the fans throwing things were not being controlled by the security. This led to a plastic water bottle then being lobbed back into the crowd.

    The article seemed to miss that it was the kicked soccer ball into the stands that put a small group of fans over the edge and then they poured onto the pitch after breaking the advertising board. The interesting moment was that the fans on the field congregated and left almost as quickly, as if realizing the huge mistake they were making and the almost certain banning from the stadium. They were caught up in the moment… and then realized that and disembarked.

    Definitely kudos to some of the Lyon players who were physically involved with trying to keep their fans back. Some irony if Lyon has to play without fans at home for a couple games.

  4. Mikal Es

    August 22, 2021 at 10:12 pm

    Hopefully, the next report on this match is better written than what is provided above.

    Thank you in advance.

  5. Don Dickerson

    August 22, 2021 at 7:03 pm

    So soccer around the world is getting back to normal I see. I’m joking because it wasn’t worse. But all truth it is a very sad sight and with how everyone thinks they can treat the players with non respect is very telling for not only those fans but society as a whole. When a person can burn cop cars or break into buildings and think it’s fine, Then throwing bottles at players is basically a non issue to them.

    Watching on TV is best because well if I get mad i can change the channel. The game experience use to be good but now it is so bad with the cussing and the drunks not to mention the hassle of getting in and out of the stadium and lastly the high price for ticket’s.

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