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The Moment Fans Brawl with Players at a Ligue 1 Match

A Ligue 1 match between Nice and Marseille has descended into violence after fans stormed the pitch and began hurling abuse at players. The opening 74 minutes of the Ligue 1 game were played out in fairly innocuous fashion, however, things went haywire after a fan threw a bottle at Marseille’s Dimitri Payet. He was originally preparing for a corner kick, when the bottle came flying from the stands, striking him in the back of the head. In the clip, you can see the player laying on the ground before standing and firing the bottle back at the disgruntled fans. That’s when all hell broke loose.

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Nice marseille 1

Fans lept over the barriers and began taunting Payet, while security rushed to gather around him at the baseline. Players on both sides were apparently disgusted by the poor show of sportsmanship, with several Nice players yelling back at their own fans. From there, things got worse.

A swarm of fans then broached baseline barriers and overran the pitch, where they fought with players and security staff. They were quickly corralled off the pitch as security staff tried to usher players into their respective locker rooms, in an attempt to bring an end to the chaos and stifle the action. However, just a few minutes later, the energy sparked up again prompting the Marseille players to eventually leave the field for their locker room. Play was then suspended with Nice leading, 1-0, leaving fans even more irate and demanding a continuation.

For football fans, the on-field brawl is not a good look. The Nice home game marked one of the first in the region since France’s top soccer league welcomed fans back to the stands at full capacity earlier this month. AFP is now reporting that fans threw water bottles at Payet throughout the game every time he took a corner. After he took offence to the final assault, fans turned ugly.

Nice marseille

After the brawl concluded, Ligue 1 authorities called for the game to resume, however, Marseille players had already showered and refused to rejoin Nice on the field. Team president Pablo Longoria then told the Prime Video broadcast that the game’s referee had in fact supported the game ending.

“We need to set precedents for French football,” Longoria said, per Get French Football News. “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.”

But the shots kept coming, this time from Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivère, who blamed Marseille and its staffers for the brawl. An investigation does appear to show a person identified as a Marseille staffer punching one of the invading fans and knocking him to the ground at the onset of the brawl.

“What catalyzed things was the reaction of two Marseille players,” Rivère said, per Get French Football News. …”Marseille’s security should not have come onto the pitch and hit our players. … I don’t really understand why Marseille didn’t restart.”

While the game was abandoned and no real result was finalised, the fallout from the on-field brawl is likely to be enormous. Fans clashing with players, staffers punching ticket-holders, the whole situation is a plight on a football community still reeling from the vile, racism observed in the wake of EURO 2020.

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About the author

About the author
DIGITAL EDITOR

Nick Hall

Nick Hall is the Digital Editor of Man of Many and an accomplished journalist. He completed a Bachelor of Creative Industries at the Queensland University of Technology, with a double major in Journalism and Music. Prior to working at Man of Many, Nick spent two years as a journalist with Inside Franchise Business, focusing on small business, finance and legal reporting. In 2021, Nick was named B&T's Best of the Best Journalist of the Year. With an extensive background in the media industry, Nick specialises in feature writing, fashion, lifestyle and entertainment content. A qualified barber and men's stylist, Nick also holds a Cert III in Barbering from the Queensland Hairdressing Academy.