French Ligue 1: Nice vs Marseille game abandoned after crowd trouble as Dimtri Payet was hit by a bottle thrown by the home fans (Videos)
|OGC Nice and Marseille players were involved in a clash after home fans stormed the pitch to protest against Dmitri Payet. (Photo credit: ESPN)|
Olympic Marseille are moving in the right direction under Jorge Sampaoli, the forward thinking that has seen them recruit future stars and a new playing style that sees Dmitri Payet deployed upfront as a false nine is beginning to yield dividends, but the drama at OGC Nice on Sunday was a clog in their wheels.
Marseille travelled to the Allianz Riviera on Sunday to play Christophe Galtier managed OGC Nice.
It was one of Denmark’s Euro heroes Kasper Dolberg that scored the opener for the hosts and as the visitors got competitive to draw level, things went south in an unprecedented manner.
Supporters of Nice pelted Payet with water bottles as he was about to take a corner kick, the French forward threw one back into the crowd and the home fans wouldn’t have that.
They stormed the pitch and the centre referee was forced to stop the game.
Players of both clubs retreated to the tunnel and play was held up for about an hour after which Nice President Jean Pierre-Revere appealed to the home supporters over a sound system and called for calm.
That worked and the pitch was cleared up in a matter of minutes for the game to continue.
Nice players returned to the pitch as match officials called for the game to continue but Marseille players refused to emerge from the tunnel.
Marseille president Pablo Longoria said they have decided not to continue the match despite the football authorities’ directives.
"The League decided that the match should continue, but we decided not to because the safety of our players was not guaranteed," Longoria told a news conference. "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.
"What happened today is unacceptable. We must make it a precedent for French football, and that's why we decided to return to Marseille."
In all of these, Nice President Revere thinks the chaos would have been avoided if Marseille players didn’t retaliate, with Payet and former Arsenal youngster Matteo Guendouzi fingered in the brawl that eventually got the game abandoned.
"It's disappointing that the game ended like this," Revere said. "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."
Here are some videos of the ugly scenes in the French Ligue 1
One of the Marseille staff ran on and lumped a Nice fan ffs 🤣 pic.twitter.com/Vq0aq1rN1u— Pato (@jpaterson97) August 22, 2021
A real Malice in the Palace type situation at the French Riviera between Marseille and Nice.— TWDTV (@TWDTV1) August 22, 2021
Ugly scenes after Dimitri Payet got tagged in the face by stupid, moronic Nice fans. Ugly scenes. pic.twitter.com/uRrKS1Eupr
Pitch invasion by fans during Nice-Marseille pic.twitter.com/s0drLdN97b— 🚽。 (@gexmsvivi) August 22, 2021
Jorge Sampaoli is really wanting to throw down and knock someone out.— TWDTV (@TWDTV1) August 22, 2021
Marseille and now Nice squads having a real shuffle now. Basile Boli also wanting to uppercut someone.
Just wow. pic.twitter.com/yHcVRs0tIM