The French league match between Nice and Marseille was abandoned after the home fans threw projectiles and invaded the field at the Allianz Riviera, Nice. Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet was struck on the back by a bottle thrown from the stands and he threw it back into the crowd. This caused the Nice fans to storm onto the pitch. Several players were said to be attacked by fans during the melee. Image Credit: Reuters

Paris: Nice and Marseille must replay their infamous August 22 game which descended into mayhem on a neutral ground and behind closed doors, the French Professional League said.

Nice have also been docked two Ligue 1 points, although one is suspended.

Match abandoned

The hosts led the Mediterranean derby 1-0 at the Allianz Riviera with 15 minutes left when Marseille’s Dimitri Payet fell after being struck by a bottle as he went to take a corner.

Payet threw a bottle back into the crowd as team-mates came across to remonstrate with Nice fans behind the goal.

Melee ensued

Some supporters streamed onto the pitch and a melee ensued involving players, staff, fans and stewards. Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli had to be restrained by members of his own staff.

The match was halted for over an hour and finally abandoned just before midnight local time after Marseille refused to return to the pitch.

In farcical scenes, the Nice players came back out and the referee placed the ball by the corner flag where the game had been stopped, before blowing his whistle.

One-match ban

In its ruling, the LFP handed out a one-match suspended ban to Payet and a two-match ban to Marseille defender Alvaro Gonzalez for hitting balls into the stands.

Marseille assistant coach Pablo Fernandez was suspended for the remainder of the season for punching a Nice fan.

Nice were ordered to play three games behind closed doors.

“This ruling matches the seriousness of the incidents,” said Sebastien Deneux, who led the disciplinary commission.