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Nice hit with stadium ban, Marseille physio suspended after French mayhem

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(FILES) In this file photo taken on May 16, 2021 players arrive on the football pitch prior to the French L1 football match between OGC Nice and Strasbourg (RCSA) at the Allianz Riviera stadium, in Nice, southern France. – Local authorities in Nice opened an investigation into the ugly incidents which led to the abandonment of the weekend Ligue 1 match between the home side and Marseille, while politicians in France called for punishments to be handed out to those responsible. (Photo by CLEMENT MAHOUDEAU / AFP)

Nice were ordered to play their next home game behind closed doors on Wednesday while a member of Marseille’s backroom staff was suspended following the mayhem at a French Ligue 1 game between the two teams last weekend.

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The French league (PFL) told Nice that spectators will be banned from Saturday’s game against Bordeaux at Allianz Riviera as punishment following the pitch invasion and mass brawl amongst fans, players and staff.

Marseille’s physical trainer Pablo Fernandez was suspended “from all official duties” as a precaution after being accused of hitting a supporter.

Last Saturday’s game was halted after 75 minutes when Marseille midfielder Dimitri Payet threw a bottle, which had been aimed at him, back into the Nice end of the stadium.

That prompted dozens of fans to invade the pitch and confront Payet.

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Marseille eventually refused to play on, fearing for their safety, and the game was abandoned with Nice leading 1-0.

The PFL added that further measures are likely to be announced regarding more sanctions as well as the fate of the game itself.

Meanwhile, a Nice supporter accused of aiming a kick at Payet was to appear in court.

“He will be presented to the court at the end of his police custody for ‘unlawful intrusion on the playing area disturbing a sporting event’ and ‘voluntary violence in gatherings’,” said the deputy public prosecutor, Jean- Philippe Navarre.

“This person aimed at a kick at Dimitri Payet,” he said.

The man, who is nearly 30, has a history with the courts for incidents unrelated to sport.

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