A close-up shot of the Lyon team coach shows damage to some windows
Lyon have warned that there could be an “even worse tragedy” if no action is taken after coach Fabio Grosso was “seriously injured” in an attack on the team bus in Marseille.
The Ligue 1 match was postponed after Lyon’s bus was hit by stones on the way to the Stade Velodrome on Sunday.
Lyon said Grosso and his assistant, Raffaele Longo, were hit by projectiles and suffered facial injuries.
Marseille said it regretted “the unacceptable incidents.”
Six visiting fan coaches were also targeted ahead of the game between 10th-placed Marseille and bottom-placed Lyon, which was due to start at 19:45 GMT.
In a statement, Lyon said it “regrets that such a situation occurs every year in Marseille,” adding that the club “calls on the authorities to take stock of the seriousness and recurrence of such incidents before it becomes an even worse tragedy.” comes”.
According to the club, several people violently attacked the team bus and windows were smashed with projectiles.
Images on social media showed a bloodied Grosso lying on a stretcher. Lyon said the manager and his assistant were “directly hit and seriously injured in the face in the attack.”
The visitors initially wanted to go ahead and play the game, but after the news of the injuries to Grosso and Longo, opinions changed – also taking into account the mental state of the players.
“[Grosso] “I couldn’t hold a conversation, he had broken glass on his face,” John Textor, president of the Lyon club, told Prime Video.
“I’m very angry – our players, our coach prepared for tonight and the fans wanted to see the game.”
Textor added: “After the window was broken, other projectiles hit him directly above the eye. There were beer bottles that hit him in the forehead.”
Marseille condemns violent behavior of “mindless people”
Lyon later published footageexternal link from Grosso – bandaged over the eye – and her players thanked the fans who had traveled with them and who had stayed behind in the stadium.
Marseille President Pablo Longoria said the attacks were “totally unacceptable” and added: “My first thought is for Fabio Grosso, someone I respect and have known for a long time.”
“I visited him as soon as I arrived at the stadium and saw how he was doing.”
Marseille issued a statement saying the club “wishes Lyon coach Fabio Grosso a speedy recovery and strongly condemns this violent behavior, which has no place in the world of football and in society.”
“Due to a handful of mindless people, tonight’s game was canceled and 65,000 fans were prevented from attending a football match,” they added.
After the attack, an emergency meeting was called at which it was decided that the game should not take place. The French football association LFP said its competition committee would decide on the next steps.
Marseille said it would abide by any decision about the future of the game but hoped it would take place “as quickly as possible and in the best possible conditions at the Stade Velodrome.”
“Terrible image for French football”
Thousands of fans were already there when it was announced that the game had been postponed.
“We took into account Lyon’s wish not to let the game take place,” referee Francois Letexier said at a news conference.
“Due to Lyon’s wishes and protocol, the decision was made not to start the match,” he added, saying that the reports had been forwarded “to the relevant authorities, who will then decide on the action to be taken.”
French Sports Minister Amelie Oudea-Castera told AFP: “These images are disgusting. Seeing the stoned bus like that, Fabio Grosso’s bloody face… These are unacceptable acts that go against the values of football and sport.”
“I hope that the investigation will be carried out quickly and that the perpetrators will be found and severely punished.”
French football expert Julien Laurens, Writing on X, external link described it as a “terrible picture for French football”.
“What a scandalous mess,” he added. “This isn’t the first time (and unfortunately not the last time either), but I don’t have the words for it. Unacceptable again.”
Seven-time French champions Lyon appointed the 45-year-old Grosso as their coach in September after sacking former French central defender Laurent Blanc.
Source : www.bbc.co.uk