Nice v Marseille Match Abandoned Following Horrific Crowd Violence And Pitch Invasions
A football match between Nice and Marseille had to be called off during the second half of the game after fans became violent and began invading the pitch.
The two teams went head-to-head in their Ligue 1 clash at the Allianz Riviera stadium in France on Sunday, with Nice ending the first half of the game 1-0.
As the match reached its 75th minute, crowds started to become physical with some Nice supporters throwing water bottles at Marseille’s Dimitri Payet.
See footage of the chaos below:
Payet and his teammate Alvaro Gonzalez reportedly responded by throwing water bottles back into the stands, after which things quickly took an even more violent turn with the eruption of a full-scale brawl.
Supporters rushed onto the pitch and prompted both teams to retreat to the tunnel to avoid the chaos, though French daily L’Equipe reported that visiting players Matteo Guendouzi and Luan Peres were both injured in the fighting, according to ESPN.
The disruption continued for more than an hour before Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere addressed home supporters over the sound system, pleading for calm among the fans so the match could continue.
Football authorities decided play should resume when it was safe for players to return to the pitch, but while Nice players returned to warm up, the Marseille players chose not to go back to the pitch.
Marseille president Pablo Longoria told a news conference the decision not to continue the match came about amid fears for the players’ safety.
He commented: ‘The League decided that the match should continue, but we decided not to because the safety of our players was not guaranteed. This is the second time it’s happened. We have already experienced this in Montpellier, where we decided to continue after the decision to carry on was made.’
Longoria added: ‘What happened today is unacceptable. We must make it a precedent for French football, and that’s why we decided to return to Marseille.’
Revere said it was ‘disappointing that the game ended’ as it did, placing partial blame on Payet and Gonzalez’s decisions to throw water bottles back into the crowd and claiming Marseille staff hit some of the home players amid the commotion.
Per ESPN, he commented: ‘It’s disappointing that the game ended like this. Everyone saw what happened. We can’t deny that water bottles were thrown because we could all see it. What ignited the clashes was the reaction of two Marseille players who retaliated.’
‘Afterwards, it is deplorable that the Marseille security staff intervened on the ground and hit our players’, he added.
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