Nice-Marseille game abandoned after fan violence

·1 min read

NICE, France (AP) — A French league soccer match between Nice and Marseille was abandoned on Sunday when the visiting team refused to restart the game after home fans earlier threw projectiles and invaded the field.

Unverified photos on social media showed at least three players were injured.

The match had initially been suspended because of the fan violence. When it was decided to restart play, with hosts Nice 1-0 ahead, Marseille refused to return to the field.

Nice warmed up and the match was meant to restart with a Marseille corner. In surreal scenes, since there were no visiting players present to take the corner, the referee blew his whistle and the match was abandoned.

If usual French league rules are applied, an automatic 3-0 victory will be awarded to Nice.

Nice supporters had already been warned against throwing objects by the stadium announcer when, with about 15 minutes remaining, Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet was hit on the back by a bottle thrown from an area with Nice fans.

Payet threw the bottle back into the crowd, prompting a significant number of Nice fans to rush the field.

The referee halted the match and sent players to the locker rooms.

There were unverified photos circulating on social media of Payet with blood and scratches on his back, while teammates Matteo Guendouzi and Luan Peres were pictured with strangle marks on their necks.

Nice players reportedly tried to convince their counterparts to return to the field after it was decided to restart the match.

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The Associated Press

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