Nice president Jean-Pierre Rivere has accused Marseille midfielder Matteo Guendouzi of lying about the injuries he allegedly sustained in Sunday’s mass brawl which broke out between the two teams in their Ligue 1 clash.
Marseille, who Guendozui now plays for after leaving Arsenal, were trailing 1-0 before Dimitri Payet reacted angrily to a bottle being thrown at him by home supporters, hurling it back as Nice fans subsequently confronted him.
An investigation has been opened by prosecutors in France following the decision to abandon the match.
The away side’s players took images of their bruised bodies in the dressing room as they refused to return and continue the game.
Since the weekend, authorities have ordered a four-match stand closure at the Allianz Riviera stadium and arrested a 28-year-old man.
Now Rivere has commented on the situation, downplaying the supposed injuries Guendouzi which showed off.
“Apart from the photo that is everywhere, there has been no violence against OM players,” Rivere told L’Equipe.
“By the way, Guendouzi, with pictures to prove it, has no marks on his neck when he is on the pitch.”
Marseille’s director of communications, Jacques Cardoze, has hit back at the Nice president’s claims by saying: “There are cuts, we had an independent doctor in Marseille. There will be medical certificates.
“These are elements that will allow the investigation of the League and the disciplinary committee to be carried out,” stated Cardoze.
Rivere also told broadcaster Prime Video: “The decision was taken by the authorities to resume the match, but Marseille do not want to.”
In a response, the Marseille president Pablo Longoria insisted his players were “attacked” during the affair, saying: “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.”
The commotion occurred in the dying embers as the away side chased an equaliser following Kasper Dolberg’s first-half opener.
Following Payet’s altercation as he prepared to take a corner kick in the 89th minute, Guendouzi and Marseille teammate Alvaro Gonzalez ran to confront the home supporters as Nice captain Dante attempted to calm angry home fans.
Stewards could then not prevent a pitch invasion, with a section of the 32,000 crowd clashing with the visiting players before they made their way down the tunnel.
Marseille had already been involved in ugly scenes in their opening game victory at Montpellier a fortnight ago, when fans hurled bottles on to the pitch and delayed play as OM won 2-1.
Substitute Valentin Rongier was hit on the head and Montpellier midfielder Florent Mollet was also struck as he readied himself to take a corner.