French Ligue 1 football club OGC Nice is set to be hit with a partial stadium closure following crowd trouble at the Allianz Riviera during Sunday’s match against Olympique de Marseille.
A number of objects were thrown by Nice fans towards Marseille players during the match, which was abandoned after 75 minutes with the home team 1-0 up. After Marseille player Dimitri Payet threw a bottle back towards the crowd, several Nice fans made their way down to the pitch, sparking a melee between supporters, players, staff and security.
France’s Professional Football League (LFP) has “strongly condemned” the scenes and called a meeting between the two clubs yesterday (Monday). The meeting is set to be held tomorrow but local authorities in Nice have already said that the stand from which the trouble stemmed will be closed for Nice’s next four matches.
Bernard Gonzalez, prefect of the Alpes-Maritimes department, confirmed in a statement that a number of actions will be taken by the regional government, even before the LFP has issued its own sanctions.
Gonzalez said that the popular south stand at the Allianz Riviera would be closed for four fixtures and he has also ordered the installation of an “anti-projection net” as soon as possible to prevent future incidents.
Gonzalez has also called on individual stadium bans against the perpetrators as soon as they are identified. A study will also be carried out to determine steps that can be taken to ensure the safety of away fans at future matches.
Nice said in a statement that the “pseudo-supporters” who carried out the actions will be hit with heavy and targeted sanctions. The club also confirmed that work on the installation of nets in the south stand will begin as soon as possible.
While condemning the actions of its supporters, Nice has also called out the behaviour of Marseille players and staff, stating that the “tipping point” was the “irresponsible attitude” of several individuals at the club.
The AFP news agency has also reported that a 28-year-old man has been arrested on suspicion of attacking a Marseille player.
The south stand will be closed for Nice’s home matches against Bordeaux, Monaco, Brest and Lyon.