Matteo Guendouzi is accused of LYING about injuries suffered in huge on-pitch brawl by Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere… who insists there was ‘no violence’ against Marseille players despite Ligue 1 clash being abandoned
- Marseille’s Ligue 1 clash against Nice was abandoned after an on-pitch fracas
- Supporters rushed on to confront Dimitri Payet, who was struck with a bottle
- A number of Marseille players, including Matteo Guendouzi, showed off injuries
- But Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere has now accused the midfielder of lying
Matteo Guendouzi has been accused of lying about his injuries by Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere, after a mass fracas involving supporters broke out on to the pitch during their feisty clash against Marseille.
Prosecutors in France have opened an investigation into the unsightly brawl, which eventually forced the Ligue 1 fixture to be abandoned at the weekend. Angry spectators invaded the field and confronted Dimitri Payet.
Payet, who was seen throwing a bottle back into the crowd after it was initially aimed at him, reacted furiously, and a security cordon of stewards was unable to prevent a crowd of people from breaking forwards.
Matteo Guendouzi (R) has been accused of lying about his injuries by Jean-Pierre Rivere (L)
In the midst of the chaos, players of both teams, as well as supporters and staff, scuffled with each other. Footage also appeared to show a member of Marseille’s entourage punching a pitch invader to the floor.
Marseille players stepped in to intervene, and their manager, Jorge Sampaoli, was physically restrained by his own stars as he looked to confront Nice players. He was then led off down the tunnel, still red with rage.
It was soon after that the marks to Guendouzi’s neck, which made it look as though he was strangled, first surfaced online, although Rivere has waved away claims that they were inflicted on the field.
Marseille’s feisty tie against Nice was abandoned at the weekend after an ugly on-pitch brawl
Dimitri Payet (second from left) was hit by a bottle thrown from an area with Nice supporters
‘Apart from the photo that is everywhere, there has been no violence against OM players,’ he told L’Equipe. ‘By the way, Guendouzi, with pictures to prove it, has no marks on his neck when he is on the pitch.’
But Marseille’s director of communications, Jacques Cardoze, has hit back, and insisted that an independent doctor checked out Guendouzi’s injuries.
‘There are cuts, we had an independent doctor in Marseille. There will be medical certificates,’ he said. ‘These are elements that will allow the investigation of the League and the disciplinary committee to be carried out.’
Following the incident, the referee led both teams off the pitch and into the dressing rooms. Eighty minutes after the match was suspended, Nice said they wanted to restart, but Marseille refused owing to fears over safety.
Luan Peres (above) showed some nasty gashes on his neck, where he was reportedly strangled
Marseille player Payet also shows off his injuries after being struck in the back by the bottle
‘The decision was taken by the authorities to resume the match, but Marseille do not want to,’ Rivere told broadcaster Prime Video.
Marseille president Pablo Longoria insisted his players were ‘attacked’, and added: ‘We decided for the safety of our players, who were attacked during the pitch invasion, not to resume because the safety of our players was not guaranteed.
‘The referee was with us, he confirmed to Jorge Sampaoli and me that safety was not guaranteed and decided to stop the game.’
There were also unverified photos circulating on social media of Payet with blood and scratches on his back, while team-mate Luan Peres was seen with strangle marks, similarly to Guendouzi, around his neck.
An irate Marseille boss Jorge Sampaoli (centre) confronted opposition players in the chaos
Nice president Rivere (pictured centre) had accused Marseille players of instigating the fight
RMC in France claimed that Longoria and former Nice player Jose Cobos were embroiled in an ‘altercation’ in the presidential area of the stadium, while Jean-Clair Todibo and Justin Kluivert were allegedly ‘struck’ by security.
Nice were 1-0 up when play was halted, with striker Kasper Dolberg having fired them ahead on 49 minutes. Marseille’s refusal to continue means that the hosts have subsequently been awarded a 3-0 win.
France’s Ligue de Football Professionnel (LFP) said that both clubs have been summoned for a disciplinary hearing tomorrow.
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