Anelka says it was 'NORMAL' for Payet to throw a bottle at Nice fans

Nicolas Anelka says it was ‘NORMAL’ for Dimitri Payet to throw a bottle back at Nice fans in last month’s chaotic clash with Marseille… as the ex-France striker says he’d ‘throw two bottles plus my shoes’ in the same position

  • Nicolas Anelka feels Dimitri Payet’s reaction in Nice last month was ‘normal’ 
  • Frenchman threw a bottle back at Nice supporters after it had been aimed at him
  • Ligue 1 clash turned nasty as fans made their way onto the pitch to brawl
  • The game was called off and will now be replayed behind closed-doors 
  • A Marseille physio has been banned for a YEAR after running to punch a fan

Nicolas Anelka believes Dimitri Payet’s decision to throw a bottle back at Nice fans after they had aimed it at him during an ill-tempered Ligue 1 match last month was ‘normal’ and he would have ‘thrown two bottles plus my shoes’ in the same situation. 

The game between Payet’s Marseille and their fierce rivals was abandoned in August after Nice fans invaded the pitch after 75 minutes with their team leading 1-0.

The Nice fans angrily confronted opposing player Payet, who had thrown a bottle initially aimed at him back into the crowd. 

Nicolas Anelka says Dimitri Payet’s (C) decision to throw a bottle back at Nice fans was ‘normal’

The ex-striker said he would ‘throw two bottles plus my shoes’ if he was in the same position

The pitch invasion sparked violent brawls between both sets of players, fans and staff members. As a result, the game was called off and will now be replayed behind closed-doors at a neutral ground.

Payet has since been sanctioned with a one-match suspended ban for his actions at the Allianz Riviera, while his team-mate Alvaro Gonzalez has been suspended for two games for provoking the home fans. 

But former France striker Anelka, who played for Arsenal, Juventus and Real Madrid in an illustrious career, believes Payet’s reaction was ‘normal’ and he would have done more if he had been in the same situation.

‘For me, that’s a normal reaction,’ Anelka, 42, told French radio station RMC.

‘You’re a soccer player, you get a bottle on your back… me, I agree with Payet at that point.

‘If I was in his place, I would throw two bottles plus my shoes! I want us to be exemplary, but we must not be abused either.’

It was announced on Thursday that Ligue 1 have docked Nice two points, one of which has been suspended, and banned Marseille physio Pablo Fernandez as a result of the incident.   

Payet launched a bottle back into the stands after it had been thrown at him by Nice fans

Marseille’s feisty tie against Nice was abandoned in August after an ugly on-pitch brawl

During the melee, Fernandez could be seen punching a Nice fan in the chest, putting him in hospital, according to Marca.

The Marseille staff member had already been suspended indefinitely by the LFP after his actions were caught on film. 

It was originally reported that the physio could face a ban from football for years but he has gotten away with just one.  

‘Meeting this Wednesday, the Disciplinary Commission of the LFP ruled on the incidents which occurred the third round Ligue 1 Uber Eats match between OGC Nice and Olympique de Marseille,’ the association explained in a statement published on its official website.

‘After reading the investigation report in the presence of the two clubs, the Commission decided to replay the match behind closed-doors on a relocated field. In addition, two penalty points were imposed on OGC Nice, including one suspended point.’  

A Marseille physio has since been banned for the 2021-22 season for punching a Nice fan 

An irate Marseille boss Jorge Sampaoli (centre) confronted opposition players in the chaos

After the mass brawl, the referee led both teams off to the safety of the dressing room. Eighty minutes after the game was suspended, Nice said they wanted to restart. 

But Marseille refused with club officials claiming their players’ safety could not be guaranteed. 

During the on-pitch scuffles, an irate Marseille manager Jorge Sampaoli had to be restrained by his own staff and players as he confronted opposition stars before being led down the tunnel.

French newspaper L’Equipe reported that visiting players Payet, Matteo Guendouzi and Luan Peres were injured in scuffles with the crowd and riot police were deployed in front of the tier packed with Nice fans. 

There were unverified photos circulating on social media of Payet with blood and scratches on his back, while more photos appeared to show team-mates Guendouzi and Peres with strangle marks on their necks.  

Share this article

Source: Read Full Article