Marseille (AFP) – Marseille president Vincent Labrune slammed “a minority of individuals who are trying to destabilize the stadium” and said security will be increased following unsavoury incidents that marred Sunday’s Ligue 1 clash against Lyon. The 1-1 draw at the Velodrome was held up for 20 minutes when fans pelted the Lyon players and the pitch during a fiery encounter that forced the referee to suspend the match.
“For several months we have been battling against a minority of individuals who constantly try to destabilize the stadium,” Labrune told AFP, adding that these people “have no place at the stadium and they tarnish the image of the club”.
He also announced “a phase of reinforcement concerning controls and punishments. We communicate regularly with the authorities and we will strengthen our ties with them to help eradicate (these problems) even if that term is a bit strong but these people have no place at the stadium.”
Immediate measures are expected after the incidents were just part of a violent weekend in Ligue 1 which throws question marks over France hosting Euro 2016 next summer when the Velodrome will be one of the host venues.
“It is not tolerable that some irresponsible people put the safety of the players into question,” read a club statement.
One of the main issues to be addressed is how fans were able to bring glass bottles into the stadium which were then thrown onto the pitch and notably at the Lyon players and goalkeeper.
It has already been announced that nets will be positioned in front of certain sections of stands in order to better protect the players and officials.
Lyon president Jean-Michel Aulas called Labrune “a clown” and said he did not have a future in soccer following Sunday’s encounter, when the Marseille boss had in the aftermath blamed biased refereeing for the “incidents”.
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