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Ligue 1 club docked points after Marseille brawl


OGC Nice have been docked two points by Ligue 1 as a result of fan trouble and a brawl that erupted during last month’s bad-tempered clash with south coast rivals Marseille.

The game at Allianz Riviera was abandoned when Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle thrown from the stands, following earlier warnings through the stadium’s PA system for supports to stop launching projectiles onto the pitch.

Dimitri Payet

Tempers boiled over when Dimitri Payet was hit by a bottle / John Berry/Getty Images

The flashpoint came when Payet threw the bottle back into the crowd, which prompted a number of Nice supporters to storm the pitch and led to confrontations between players and fans.

Both sets of players then retreated to the tunnel and the game, which Nice were winning 1-0 with 15 minutes left on the clock, was not resumed.

Ligue 1 has now relayed its disciplinary ruling. The match will be replayed at a neutral venue behind closed doors on a date that is yet to be confirmed. Nice, who had won two and drawn one of their other three opening games, will also lose two points from their existing tally.

Marseille have not been punished as severely but have still been hit by player suspensions. For his part, Payet will be banned for one game, while defender Alvaro Gonzalez will miss two games.

It is a significant early blow for Nice as had they won the abandoned game and not been hit by the associated penalties, they would have had 10 points and be second in the table behind only PSG.

They were ninth in Ligue 1 last season and haven’t finished in the top three to qualify for the Champions League since 2017. With competition for European places tough, this is a bitter early pill to swallow and is unfortunately a direct result of their own fans behaviour.

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