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French fans storm football pitch after player throws back bottle that hit him

A Ligue 1 game between Nice and Marseille has been stopped in the second half after fans invaded the pitch.

In the 75th minute of the game, with Nice leading 1-0, Marseille player Dimitri Payet was struck by a bottle as he went over to take a corner.

After initially falling to the ground, Payet then got up and threw the plastic bottle back into the supporters.

Home players Jean-Clair Todibo and skipper Dante both went over to gesture at supporters in an attempt to ease tensions.

Visiting players Álvaro González and Matteo Guendouzi though, angrily remonstrated as Payet picked up and threw a second bottle into the fans before being led away by other players.

Nice fans rushed onto the field in the game against Marseille.(

Getty Images: John Berry

)

The supporters attempted to rush onto the field, initially stemmed by a cordon of stewards, who were eventually overwhelmed as the players rushed onto the field, resulting in a number of skirmishes.

As the supporters struggled González slammed a stray ball into the supporters, further inflaming tensions.

The referee led the players off the field, with Marseille coach Jorge Sampaoli having to be restrained by his players, as the brawl continued.

Play was held up for over an hour as Nice officials appealed for calm over the stadium loudspeaker.

Heavily armoured police in riot gear watch chanting football fans in a stand
A heavy police presence was deployed after the pitch invasion.(

Getty Images: Jonathan Moscrop

)

Riot police were deployed in the stadium to restore order.

The home players returned to the field to warm up, but Marseille players refused to join them, leading the referee to make the decision to abandon the match.

Nice players applauded the remaining supporters before leaving the field.

Local media reported that Marseille’s opening match of the season against Montpellier a fortnight ago was also interrupted by bottles being thrown on the pitch.

The match, in Montpellier, was stopped in the 89th minute after Marseille’s Valentin Rongier was hit on the head.


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