Nice vs Marseille Ligue 1 game was abandoned in the 75th minute after a group of Nice supporters invaded the pitch at Nice home ground, Allianz Riviera on Sunday, August 23, 2021.
The chaos started when an unidentified fan of Nice threw a bottle on the back of Marseille’s player, Dimitri Payet while he was about to take a corner kick. Payet decided to pick up the bottle and threw it back in the direction the bottle came from.
Immediately he did that, a group of Nice supporters stormed the pitch. At that point, a security cordon of stewards tried to stem the invasion but there was little or nothing they could do.
The pitch was hijacked by Nice’s fans. One of the fans was even pictured trying to kick Dimitri Payet before he was restrained.
As the fans were trying to get to Marseille’s players, players of both teams and the coaching staff were also involved in the face-off.
A picture surfaced from the brawl showing the coach of Marseille, Jorge Sampaoli, being held back by the staff of his club as he tried to get involved in the chaos.
The brawl dragged on until Marseille’s players and staff were advised to leave the pitch. They succeeded in escaping into the tunnel. And then, Nice players also left the pitch for the stewards to bring things under control.
Afterward, Nice players returned to the pitch to continue with the remaining minutes of the game but Marseille players refused to show up.
The president of Marseille, Pablo Longoria claimed that some of the club’s players were injured in the invasion and they decided not to show up for fear of being attacked again.
“Our players were attacked,” he said. “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.”
Before the incident went that bad, Nice were leading 1-0. The goal was scored by Danish striker Kasper Dolberg in the first half of the match.
This is the second time in the 2021-2022 season that a match involving Marseille recorded such hostility. Recall that over two weeks ago, a match between Montpellier and Marseille was held up after fans of Montpellier threw bottles into the pitch.
Before the incident went so bad and was halted in the 89th minute, Marseille were already leading 3-2. In the case of that incident, Marseille came out to complete the game.
“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”, Marseille president added.
“What happened today (Sunday) is unacceptable. We must make it a precedent for French football and that’s why we decided to return to Marseille.”
On the other hand, Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere who pleaded for calm through the public address system in the stadium when the brawl was burning hot, blamed Marseille for how the game ended.
He said: “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 them. 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.”
At the time of publishing this report, the league body in France has not announced the way forward after the incident. It is however suspected that an investigation would be carried out before a decision would be made over the abandoned Nice vs Marseille game.