Fabio Grosso, the manager of Lyon, sustained a serious injury before his club was supposed to play Marseille in a Ligue 1 game. While the Lyon bus departed for the stadium in South France, Marseille supporters launched rocks at the Lyon team coach. Those rocks broke the window of the bus and collided with Fabio Grosso. The Lyon manager sustained serious injuries that required medical attention. Pictures after the event show Grosso bloodied with bandages cast around his face.
One of the assistant coaches at Lyon, Raffaele Longo, also sustained injuries after the attack from Marseille supporters. Following an emergency meeting with Ligue 1 officials, the league postponed the anticipated derby clash. The Clash of the Olympics will have to wait until a further date to transpire.
“During the crisis unit meeting following the incidents that occurred outside the Stade Velodrome on the route of its bus, Olympique Lyonnais made known its opposition to taking part in the match given the circumstances,” Ligue 1’s statement said. “In consultation with Olympique de Marseille and the public authorities, the OM-OL match will therefore not be played this evening at 8:45 p.m.”
Initially, Lyon wanted the match to go ahead as planned. Club owner John Textor said the situation came down to Ligue 1 and the development of the injuries to the team.
“Our team wanted to play, we said we were ready to play, I’m very proud of the captain,” Textor said. “It was very moving. We saw blood coming out of his head. He wasn’t really lucid because he was hit with shrapnel too. The decision is beyond our control.”
Marseille responds to fans injuring Lyon manager before Ligue 1 clash
However, the injuries to Grosso and Longo were worse than originally anticipated. Out of precaution, Gross required a stretcher because of his injuries. Also, Lyon cited the mental state of the players after the attack.
Marseille also condemned what it called the ‘deplorable’ acts of fans. The club wishes Grosso a speedy recovery from his injuries sustained on Sunday.
“Because of a handful of thoughtless people, the party planned for this evening has been ruined and 65,000 fans have been deprived of attending a football match,” Marseille said.
The club did not provide any mention of impending punishment. However, the club likely faces sanctions from the league. Marseille supporters, as well as several other clubs in France, have a history of violent behavior. For example, last year, Greek fans called for a ban on Marseille supporters during a European game. Marseille played a Europa League game behind closed doors last year because of crowd disturbances and instances of violence.
Ligue 1 continues to have fan violence
The French government condemned the disgusting behavior of Marseille fans at the weekend. However, this is a disturbingly common occurrence for French soccer fans. Nice supporters stormed the field to confront Marseille star Dmitri Payet in 2021. Flares are also a common projectile fans in the stadiums launch onto the pitch.
Ligue 1 has yet to release an official statement on the incident. For now, all fans know is that the game is postponed. There is no set date to play out the derby clash nor is there knowledge of fans’ attendance in the stadium.
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