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French match abandoned after player hit by bottle

Marseille’s Payet was struck in the back by a bottle thrown from the home supporters as he went to take a corner.

He launched it back, leading to fans pouring on to the pitch as stewards and players struggled to restrain them.

After a long delay, Nice’s players came out to finish the game – but Marseille’s players refused to.

The game was abandoned as a result. Nice were leading 1-0 through Kasper Dolberg’s first-half goal.

On Monday, Ligue de Football Professionnel, the French league’s governing body, said that following the “serious incidents”, both clubs had been summoned to its disciplinary commission on Wednesday.

French Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu has called what happened “an insult for sport and football”.

While the mayor of Nice Christian Estros said: “This violence is unacceptable. Sanctions must be taken by the French football league once they have found out who was responsible.”

Some of the Marseille players were reportedly injured in the troubleexternal-link.

“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.”

The chaos continued as the players tried to leave the pitch, with scuffles breaking out and Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli having to be held back by his staff.

Marseille players had been targeted by plastic water bottles from that section of the crowd throughout the match, before one hit Payet and saw the midfielder fall to the ground.

In the melee that followed, team-mates Alvaro Gonzalez and Matteo Guendouzi ran towards the end of the ground to face down the fans and Nice skipper Dante then attempted to calm angry supporters.

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

Players and officials eventually made it off the pitch and back down the tunnel away from the chaos outside.

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

That game was halted in the 89th minute after Marseille substitute Valentin Rongier was hit on the head and Montpellier’s Florent Mollet was also hit as he prepared to take a corner.

Citing that game a fortnight ago, Longoria added: “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.”

However, Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere, who had appealed for calm over the stadium’s public address system during the delay, felt some blame for the scenes lay with Marseille.

“It’s disappointing that the game ended like this,” he 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.”

Line-ups

Nice

Formation 4-4-2

40Benítez

20Atal25Todibo4Costa Santos26Bard

28Boudaoui8Rosario18Lemina21Kluivert

9Dolberg11Gouiri

40Benítez20AtalSubstituted forLotombaat 6’minutes25Todibo4Costa Santos26BardBooked at 69mins28Boudaoui8Rosario18LeminaBooked at 15minsSubstituted forThuram-Ulienat 71’minutes21KluivertBooked at 66mins9DolbergBooked at 63mins11Gouiri

Substitutes

1Bulka5Daniliuc7Maolida13Kamara14Ndoye19Thuram-Ulien23Lotomba29Da Cunha33Smith

Marseille

Formation 3-2-4-1

30Mandanda

2Saliba14Peres Petroni3González

22Gueye6Guendouzi

4Kamara8Santos da Silva10Payet11de Lima

17Ünder

30Mandanda2Saliba14Peres PetroniBooked at 72mins3González22GueyeSubstituted forRongierat 57’minutes6Guendouzi4KamaraBooked at 3mins8Santos da Silva10Payet11de LimaSubstituted forDe la Fuenteat 56’minutes17Ünder

Substitutes

1Ngapandouetnbu12Dieng20De la Fuente21Rongier23Amavi26Targhalline34Sciortino39Nadir

Referee:Benoît Bastien

Live Text

Post update

Match abandoned due to unknown reason, Nice 1, Marseille 0.

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