Malice at Marseille?
Chaos erupted at a Ligue 1 soccer game in France between Nice and Marseille after fans jumped over the barrier and engaged in a scary brawl with players and stadium security.
It all began in the 74th minute of the match, when Marseille’s Dimitri Payet lined up to take a corner kick. A fan from the Nice supporter section threw a full water bottle onto the field, striking Payet in the back of the head and knocking him to the ground.
Payet then stood up and threw the bottle back into the crowd, screaming in the direction of the throw. Payet’s teammates, as well as Nice players, then surrounded him as security stepped in to try to intervene.
But the effort proved to be futile, as Nice fans first approached the barrier in front of the field, then began jumping over it entirely and storming onto the pitch. A full-on mosh pit then broke out, as dozens of fans confronted Marseille players and created a fracas that lasted for several minutes.
After the fight appeared to momentarily calm down, Marseille head coach Jorge Sampaoli then had to be restrained by his own teammates as he went after a security guard, escalating the fight even further.
“Our players were attacked,” Marseille President Pablo Longoria told reporters. “We decided for the safety of our players, who were attacked during the pitch invasion, not to resume the match because the safety of our players was not guaranteed.”
Photos shared to Twitter showed a pair of Marseille players with apparent scars from the incident.
The game, which Nice led 1-0, was suspended after Marseille refused to go back onto the field.
It’s unclear whether any arrests were made.
The French league just welcomed fans back to the stands this month for the first time amid the COVID-19 pandemic.