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French Ligue 1 Match Abandoned Over Violent Clash

Channels Television  
Updated August 23, 2021
Fans invade the pitch during the French L1 football match between OGC Nice and Olympique de Marseille (OM) at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, southern France on August 22, 2021. 
Valery HACHE / AFP

 

A Ligue 1 match between Nice and Marseille on Sunday was called off after home supporters threw missiles at players on the pitch, sparking violent brawls between both sets of players, fans, and staff members.

Nice fans invaded the pitch after 75 minutes with their team leading 1-0 and angrily confronted opposing player Dimitri Payet, who had thrown a bottle lobbed at him back into the crowd.

Marseille players stepped in to intervene, confronting the furious Nice supporters, but visiting boss Jorge Sampaoli had to be restrained by his own staff and players as he confronted opposition stars before being led down the tunnel

Authorities in Nice have opened a probe into the incidents which caused the match abandonment, the local prosecutor’s office told AFP on Monday.

“An investigation is underway, but no one has been taken into custody” at this stage, said the prosecutor’s office.

 

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’s French midfielder Dimitri Payet (2nd L) reacts as players from OGC Nice (red and black jersey) and Olympique de Marseille (blue jersey) stop a fan invading the pitch trying to kick Payet during the French L1 football match between OGC Nice and Olympique de Marseille (OM) at the Allianz Riviera stadium in Nice, southern France on August 22, 2021. 
Valery HACHE / AFP

 

The referee then led both teams off to the safety of the dressing room.

Eighty minutes after the game was suspended, Nice said they wanted to restart.

“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.

Marseille refused with club officials claiming their players’ safety could not be guaranteed.

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

“The league wanted the match to restart. We decided for the safety of our players, who were attacked during the pitch invasion, not to resume because the safety of our players was not guaranteed.”

“The referee was with us, he confirmed to (Marseille coach) Jorge Sampaoli and me that safety was not guaranteed and decided to stop the game.”

-AFP