A French league match between Nice and Marseille was abandoned after home fans jumped over the barriers and stormed the pitch targeting Marseille players. The brawl between players and fans prompted a halt in the 75th minutes before the away team refused to return for the restart. Nice were leading 1-0 at the time when the incident happened. Follow us for more online sports betting updates.
Dimitri Payet was hit on the back of the head by a bottle from the stands of Nice supporters while he was in the corner. Payet threw the bottle back into the crowd that triggered the raging fans clambering onto the pitch, resulting in players and supporters clashing on the field. After returning to the locker room, Marseille’s Luan Peres and Matteo Guendouzi were pictured with apparent injuries to their necks.
“We need to set precedents for French football,” Marseille team president Pablo Longoria said, explain the decision to abandon the match. “The referee was with us, he confirmed 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.” As a result, Nice were awarded a 3-0 victory following the league rules.
Per the league rules, if a team fails to fulfil a fixture, the opposition will be awarded a 3-0 win but Marseille would be likely to appeal such a decision. The incident happened after Marseille’s opening 3-2 win at Montpellier two weeks ago was also held up when fans pelted the pitch with bottles. This is the second time it’s happened,” Longoria added, citing the experience in Montpellier.
“What happened today is unacceptable. We must make it a precedent for French football and that’s why we decided to return to Marseille,” he said. Meanwhile, Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere expressed disappointment and blamed the clash on the “reaction of two Marseille players who retaliated.” Longoria reiterated the team’s decision as a matter of player safety.
Marseille opened its season with a 3-2 win over Montpellier before drawing 2-2 with Bordeaux, while Nice drew 0-0 with Reims in the opening week before hammering Lille 4-0 in its second match. In this match, Kasper Dolberg’s goal in the 49th minute is the only score before the incident happened. The clubs are scheduled to meet again March 20 at Stade Velodrome.
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