Soccer game

Chaos reigned over a French soccer match after a player was hit by a bottle thrown by the crowd, resulting in a mass brawl on the pitch

  • A Ligue 1 match was abandoned on Sunday after supporters stormed the pitch to attack opposing players.
  • Chaos ensued after a Marseille player threw a bottle that had been sent back to Nice fans.
  • RMC Reports that three players were injured in the ruckus.

Chaotic scenes unfolded in France’s elite football league on Sunday as a match had to be abandoned after supporters stormed the pitch when a player threw a bottle thrown at him in the crowd.

OGC Nice were leading Marseille 1-0 at the Allianz Riviera stadium when Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet was hit by a plastic bottle thrown by the local crowd as he was about to take a corner kick deep in the second half. time.

The bottle, which appeared to be full, hit Payet hard on the back.

The Marseille star relaunched the bottle angrily, prompting a large number of Nice supporters to try to invade the pitch to attack Payet and the other Marseille players.

The supporters of OGC Nice invade the lawn during their abandoned match against Marseille on Sunday 22 August.

John Berry / Getty Images

Staff from both sides were also involved, with a video appearing to show a Marseille staff member punching a Nice fan in the face.

With the stewards unable to cope with the chaos, the match was suspended and both teams returned to their locker rooms.

After a long delay, the Nice players came out to finish the match, but the Marseille players refused, resulting in the abandonment of the match.

RMC Sports reports that three Marseille players were injured in the ruckus, defender Luan Peres and midfielder Mateo Guendouzi suffering from what appeared to be strangulations around their necks.

Payet also suffered scratches on his back.

“Our players have been attacked,” said Marseille President Pablo Longoria.

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

He added: “What happened today is unacceptable. We have to make it a precedent for French football and that is why we have decided to return to Marseille.”

Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere called the scenes “disappointing” but suggested that the fault lay in part on Payet and the Marseille players.

“Everyone saw what happened,” he said. “We can’t deny that water bottles were thrown away because we could all see it. What sparked the clashes was the reaction of two Marseille players who fought back.

“Afterwards, it is deplorable that Marseille security agents intervened on the ground and hit our players.”

If the usual Ligue 1 rules are applied, a 3-0 automatic victory will be awarded to Nice as Marseille refused to play, but such a decision should be appealed.