The French press have criticised the ‘stupid’ and ‘unacceptable’ scenes which saw Marseille’s clash against Nice abandoned on Sunday night.
The Ligue 1 match was called off after home supporters threw missiles at players on the pitch, sparking violent brawls between both sets of players, fans and staff members.
Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet was hit on the back by a bottle thrown from an area with Nice fans towards the end of the game, before the former West Ham star angrily threw it back into the stands.
The French press slammed the ugly scenes which saw Marseille’s clash against Nice abandoned on Sunday night
The Ligue 1 match was called off after home supporters threw missiles at players, sparking violent brawls between players, fans and staff members
‘Unacceptable’: French outlet L’Equipe slammed the events that took place on Sunday night
The incident saw a number of Nice fans rush onto the pitch to confront Payet, with footage appearing to show one Marseille staff member punch a pitch invader to the floor during the ugly scenes.
Marseille players stepped into to intervene, confronting the furious Nice supporters, but visiting boss Jorge Sampaoli had to be restrained by his own staff and players as he confronted opposition stars before being led down the tunnel.
Both teams then followed him back to the dressing room and play was held up for 90 minutes before referee Benoit Bastien declared it abandoned.
And French newspaper Le Figaro slammed the scenes on Sunday evening, with the headline: ‘Stupidity invited itself to the Allianz-Riviera’.
Le Figaro meanwhile went with the headline: ‘Stupidity invited itself to the Allianz-Riviera’
Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet (second from left) was hit on the back by a bottle thrown from an area with Nice fans
An irate Marseille boss Jorge Sampaoli (centre) confronted opposition players in the chaos
The same outlet also wrote how a seemingly ‘festive atmosphere’ at the stadium ‘lapsed into the pathetic’ in a matter of minutes.
Meanwhile, fellow French outlet L’Equipe simply went with the headline ‘unacceptable’.
They also added that Marseille – who were losing 1-0 prior to the game being abandoned following Kasper Dolberg’s first-half goal – are at risk of losing by forfeit after refusing to resume the match.
Nice players returned to the pitch several minutes before it was abandoned while the furious Marseille players refused to join them.
The two teams made their way back to the dressing room before the match was abandoned
Marseille duo Matteo Guendouzi (left) and Luan Peres (right) showed the nasty gashes on their necks where they were reportedly strangled by opposition fans
According to Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) rules, Marseille’s refusal to continue the game means Nice have subsequently been awarded a 3-0 win, but the former will likely appeal the decision.
Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere had appealed to his club’s supporters over the sound system for calm during the initial delay.
But speaking to RMC after the match was abandoned, Rivere accused Marseille players of instigating the ugly fight that triggered the subsequent brawls and also claimed Marseille staff members ‘hit our players’ follows reports that Nice duo Jean Clair Todibo and Justin Kluivert were ‘struck’ by Marseille security.
‘What catalysed things was the reaction of two Marseille players (Alvaro Gonzalez and Matteo Guendouzi) who met the fans,’ Rivere said.
‘It is disappointing that it ends like this. Things are quite clear. … Marseille’s security should not have come onto the pitch and hit our players.
Marseille player Payet shows his injuries after being struck in the back by a bottle
‘I don’t really understand why Marseille didn’t restart.’
L’Equipe reported that Payet, Guendouzi and Luan Peres were injured in scuffles with the crowd and riot police were deployed in front of the tier packed with Nice fans.
There were unverified photos circulating on social media of Payet with blood and scratches on his back, while more photos showed team-mates Matteo Guendouzi and Luan Peres with strangle marks on their necks.
French news outlet RMC have also claimed that Marseille’s president Pablo Longoria and former Nice player Jose Cobos had an ‘altercation’ in the presidential area during the chaotic scenes continued high up in the stands.
Marseille president Longoria said: ‘We need to set precedents for French football. 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.’
Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere (centre) accused Marseille players of instigating the fight