Dozens of fans invade pitch at Nice-Marseille football game

11:43, 23 August 2021
Dozens of fans invade pitch at Nice-Marseille football game Photo: Norbert Scanella via www.imago-i/Global Look Press

The incident happened in the 75th minute of the match which was later abandoned.

In the third matchweek of the French Ligue 1, Nice hosted Marseille at the Allianz Riviera.

In the 75th minute, Marseille’s player Dimitri Payet was hit in the back while going to take a corner by a bottle thrown from the stands occupied by Nice fans.

After regaining consciousness, he launched the bottle back shouting insults which resulted in a mass of fans storming the pitch.

Players from both teams rushed to the spot to protect their teammates and calm the fans, while some of the players confronted the opposite team members. Stewards and security agents and the teams’ staff ran to the scene as well.

Several cases of hostility have been recorded during the brawl. Payet was once again targeted by a fan who tried to kick him.

Later media have published photos of injuries some players got during the melee. Matteo Guendouzi and Luan Peres showed bruises on the necks, initiator of the quarrel Dimitri Payet was hit in the back.

A Marseille coaching staff member was captured hitting a fan in the throat, the latter fell back.

One of the most active participants in the clash was Marseille’s manager Jorge Sampaoli. His team’s players and other coaches had to restrain angry Sampaoli.

The game was suspended until the situation stabilizes. The teams and staff had spent about an hour in the stadium’s tunnel and changing rooms before the game’s referee Benoît Bastien tried to resume the game.

Nice's players came out to finish the game, but Marseille decided not to continue the match.

"We decided for the safety of our players, who were attacked during the invasion, not to resume the match because the security was not guaranteed."

Nice was leading 1-0 at the moment of the fight after Dolberg’s goal in the 49th minute. As Marseille refused to continue the game, Nice got a walkover. Marseille representatives have already announced that the club will appeal against the decision.

Though ended in warfare, the game started with an inspiring moment. Nice paid tribute to its former player Kevin Anin who had to end his football career in 2013 after a car accident by letting him kick off.