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Nice vs Marseille football game halted after fans threw projectiles and invaded the pitch

With about 15 minutes to go, Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet was hit on the back by a bottle thrown from the stands.

A French league game between Nice and Marseille was halted on Sunday after home fans threw projectiles and invaded the pitch.

Unverified photos shared on social media showed that at least three players had been injured

With about 15 minutes to go, Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet was hit on the back by a bottle thrown from the stands.

Supporters had previously been warned about throwing objects by the stadium announcer.

Payet, 34, threw the bottle back into the crowd, sending a significant number of Nice fans onto the pitch, and a scuffle involving players and supporters ensued.

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The referee stopped the game, Nice won 1-0 at the time and both teams retreated into the tunnel.

Nice’s president, Jean-Pierre Rivere, had appealed over the sound system to Nice supporters to remain calm during the delay, but angry Marseille players and staff refused to continue.

French daily L’Equipe reported that visiting players Payet, Matteo Guendouzi and Luan Peres were injured in clashes with the crowd and that riot police were deployed in front of the stands filled with Nice fans.

Swedish striker Kasper Dolberg had put Nice ahead in the 49th minute.

Marseille president Pablo Longoria said: “The league has decided to restart the game. We decided, for the safety of our players who were attacked, not to restart the game because the safety of our players was not guaranteed.

 

The game was interrupted for 90 minutes before referee Benoit Bastien declared the game a halt, with Nice’s players returning to the field minutes earlier, while Marseille’s players refusing to participate.

“The referee agreed with us. He confirmed to us that the safety was not guaranteed, he did not want to resume the game. But the competition decided to start again. That is unacceptable for us and that is why we decided not to resume the game and to return to Marseilles.”

An automatic 3-0 win will be given to Nice if the usual French league rules are applied.

Unverified photos circulating on social media showed Payet with blood and scratches on his back, while teammates Matteo Guendouzi and Luan Peres were pictured with strangulation marks on their necks.

Mr Rivère said: “It is disappointing that the game has ended this way.

“Everyone saw what happened. Our fans threw bottles, we can’t deny that. But I think that unfortunately was what caused the reaction of two Marseille players to throw the bottles back. Then it snowed.

“I don’t think Marseille’s security should have interfered on the pitch and they certainly shouldn’t have hit our players because two of our players were hit. But that’s not the argument here.”

Mr Longoria said in a tweet: “The League has made the decision to resume the game, but we decided for the safety of our players – who had been attacked after the field was invaded… We decided not to return to the match because the safety of our players was not guaranteed.”