The authorities of Ligue 1 have ruled that the August 22 Mediterranean derby between Nice and Marseille be replayed on neutral ground and behind closed doors,
“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 ruled on Wednesday.
The game saw some supporters streaming onto the pitch and a melee ensued involving players, staff, fans and stewards
Nice have also been docked two Ligue 1 points, although one is suspended.
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.
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.
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.
Mazi Akuma Chibuike reporting, Obinwannem News writer / September 9, 2021