Marseille’s Ligue 1 match against Nice on Sunday has been suspended following the visiting club refusal to emerge from the dressing room after Nice fans invaded the pitch to spark a brawl.
In a contest going in favour of the home side Nice after Kasper Dolberg found the opening minutes into the second half, the referee blew for the final whistle with only the Nice players in sight following a brief suspension to proceedings, and according to Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) rules, Marseille have been handed an automatic 3-0 defeat pending further review.
The Nice spectators were found to had pelted Marseille players with objects in the lead-up to the chaotic fight, and fans charged the playing surface when forward Dimitri Payet’s responded to them after being struck near the corner flag.
Supporters at the Allianz Riviera had been throwing objects at Marseille players throughout the match, and Payet threw a bottle back into the crowd in the 74th minute after being struck as he prepared to take a corner kick.
This prompted fans to invade the pitch, dropping billboards to access the field in order to battle with the Marseille players and ignite bedlam in the game.
In a statement to the officials down the tunnel at the time when the match was first suspended, Marseille president, Pablo Longoria said: “We will not play! We will not play!”
“We need to set precedents for French football,” Longoria said to RMC once the match was abandoned. The referee was with us, he confirmed that to us, that safety was not assured.”
“His decision was to abandon the match, but the LFP decided to restart the match. It is not acceptable for us.” Marseille’s match against Montpellier was briefly halted because of the crowd throwing objects at visiting players.
It will be recalled that two weeks ago, similar occurrence took place when Marseille’s match against Montpellier was briefly halted because of the crowd throwing objects at Marseille’s players.
That resulted in Marseille midfielder Valentin Rongier leaving the pitch with a busted lip from that match.