It was a wild night on the Mediterranean coast when American international Konrad de la Fuente and his Marseille teammates were attacked by fans from Nice after a water bottle-throwing incident.
De la Fuente entered the field of play early in the second half and was there when Marseille won a corner kick that former West Ham United forward Dimitri Payet was to take. That was until a water bottle came flying out of the stands and hit him on the back. The Frenchman threw it back where it came from and pandemonium ensued.
The game was initially suspended by the referee as he sent both teams to the locker room, but the league decided that it should be played. When it came time to resume the game, however, with the corner kick, there was no Marseille player to take it as the team refused to go back onto the field.
There have been unverified reports that Payet, Luan Peres, and Matteo Guendouzi, on loan from Arsenal, suffered injuries.
“It’s disappointing that the match ended this way,” Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere told the French media after the incident.
“Everyone saw what happened. Our fans threw bottles. We can’t deny that. But I think that unfortunately, what sparked things off was the reaction of two Marseille players, to throw back the bottles. After that, it snowballed.”
Mr. Rivere was disappointed that the match ended as it did, especially as his team was leading 1-0 with 15 minutes left on the clock.
Marseille president Pablo Longoria however was not willing to send his players out into a hostile environment particularly as the safety of his team could not be guaranteed.
According to French league rules, Nice should be awarded a 3-0 result. An investigation is underway, however.