Watch: Fans invade field, fight soccer players at Nice-Marseille match

Aug. 23 (UPI) -- A French Ligue 1 soccer match between Nice and Marseille was suspended after a swarm of fans invaded the field and fought with players late in the second half in Nice.

The melee occurred in the 75th minute of the match Sunday at Allianz Riviera stadium. Nice led 1-0 when Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet prepared for a corner kick from the left flag. He walked over to the ball and was hit with a water bottle, which was thrown from the stands.


Payet fell to the ground after he was hit. He then jumped to his feet and launched the bottle back into the crowd. Marseille and Nice players both approached the crowd and exchanged words with the fans.

Nice players tried to calm their supporters, who jumped over a barricade and ran onto the field.

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Fans and players got into a scuffle for more than an hour. Both teams then went into their dressing rooms and fans were escorted out of the area.

Referees resumed the match, but Marseille refused to retake the field. Ligue 1 officials then opted to postpone the contest. Photos from after the alternation showed several Marseille players with scrapes and bruises on their skin from the melee.


"The game between Nice and Marseille on Sunday evening ended prematurely as -- following disturbances on the pitch involving home fans and players that led to an interruption of more than an hour -- the game was not played to a finish," Ligue 1 said in a statement.

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Ligue 1 said Marseille and Nice will participate Wednesday in a disciplinary commission meeting.

"Ligue 1 decided that the match should resume," Marseille president Pablo Longoria told reporters. :But we decided, for the security of our players, who have been attacked and because the pitch was invaded, that we could not return to the pitch, since the security of our players was not guaranteed."

Marseille hosts St. Ettienne at 3 p.m. EDT Saturday in another Ligue 1 match. Nice battles Bordeaux in Ligue 1 at 11 a.m. EDT Saturday in Nice.

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