The Ligue 1 clash between Nice and Marseille was abandoned in the second half at the Allianz Riviera on Sunday after Marseille players clashed with home fans, who pelted them with objects and went onto the pitch.
Nice supporters threw water bottles at Marseille forward Dimitri Payet when he was about to take a corner, and after the forward hurled one back at them, a full-scale brawl ensued when some of the fans rushed onto the pitch.
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Both teams retreated to the tunnel and play was held up for over an hour before Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere appealed to home supporters over the sound system for calm and their players returned to the pitch to warm up, but Marseille players did not.
Marseille president Pablo Longoria said the club had decided not to continue with the match despite a decision by the football authorities that play should resume.
“The League decided that the match should continue, but we decided not to because the safety of our players was not guaranteed,” he told a news conference. “This is the second time it’s happened. We have already experienced this in Montpellier, where we decided to continue after the decision to carry on was made.
“What happened today is unacceptable. We must make it a precedent for French football and that’s why we decided to return to Marseille.”
Revere partially blamed Payet and his teammate Alvaro Gonzalez for the chaos after they retaliated by hurling bottles back at Nice fans and accused Marseille staff of hitting some of the home players.
“It’s disappointing that the game ended like this,” he said.
“Everyone saw what happened. We can’t deny that water bottles were thrown because we could all see it. What ignited the clashes was the reaction of two Marseille players who retaliated.
“Afterwards, it is deplorable that the Marseille security staff intervened on the ground and hit our players.”
French daily L’Equipe reported that visiting players Matteo Guendouzi and Luan Peres were injured in the fighting.
Nice were up 1-0 when play was interrupted in the 75th minute, with Swedish striker Kasper Dolberg firing them ahead in the 49th minute after Marseille missed a string of first-half chances.
Information from Reuters and the Associated Press was used in this story.