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Nice-Marseille game abandoned after bottles thrown, pitch invasion

Dimitri Payet, who was targeted by plastic bottles every time he took a corner, lobbed one back into the stands and chaos descended.

Scenes from the game.
Scenes from the game.

THE FRENCH LIGUE 1game between Nice and Marseille was abandoned Sunday after fans of the home side invaded the pitch and angrily confronted opposing player Dimitri Payet who had thrown a bottle lobbed at him back into the crowd.

Trouble at the Allianz Riviera Stadium flared in the 75th minute when Marseille star Payet, who had been targeted every time he took a corner, threw one of the plastic bottles back into the Nice end.

As fighting broke out, players were led off the pitch by the referee.

Marseille then refused to continue and the game was halted permanently.

Angry Nice fans had clambered onto the pitch, threatening Payet, who had collapsed to the ground, before the referee led both teams to the dressing room.

In the melee, Marseille’s Alvaro Gonzalez and Matteo Guendouzi ran towards the end of the ground to face down the fans.

Nice skipper Dante then attempted to calm angry supporters.

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

Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli was seen being restrained by his staff and players.

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

That clash at Montpellier’s Stade Mosson was halted in the 89th minute after Marseille substitute Valentin Rongier was hit on the head.

Montpellier’s Florent Mollet was also hit as he readied to take a corner.

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AFP

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