- by E. Nriezedi
- 10:43 AM January 23, 2022
Authorities in Nice have opened a probe into the incidents which caused the abandonment of Sunday’s Ligue 1 match between Nice and Marseille, the local prosecutor’s office told AFP on Monday.
“An investigation is underway, but no one has been taken into custody” at this stage, said the prosecutor’s office.
Sunday’s match was abandoned after home fans invaded the pitch after 75 minutes with their team leading 1-0 and angrily confronted opposing player Dimitri Payet, who had thrown a bottle lobbed at him back into the crowd.
A security cordon of stewards, dressed in yellow vests, tried to stem the pitch invasion before a brawl broke out between players of the two teams, supporters and staff.
The referee then led both teams off to the safety of the dressing room.
Eighty minutes after the game was suspended, Nice said they wanted to restart.
“The decision was taken by the authorities to resume the match, but Marseille do not want to,” Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere told broadcaster Prime Video.
Marseille refused with club officials claiming their players’ safety could not be guaranteed.
“Our players were attacked,” said Marseille president Pablo Longoria.
“The league wanted the match to restart. We decided for the safety of our players, who were attacked during the pitch invasion, not to resume because the safety of our players was not guaranteed.”
“The referee was with us, he confirmed to (Marseille coach) Jorge Sampaoli and me that safety was not guaranteed and decided to stop the game.”