The Ligue 1 match between Marseille and Lyon was called off on Sunday after an attack on the latter’s bus as the team made their way to the Stade Vélodrome left the head coach, Fabio Grosso, and his assistant Raffaele Longo “seriously injured in the face”.
Sky Italia footage showed damage to the bus windows and Grosso being led into the stadium by two assistants. He was covering his face with his hands, which were stained with blood. Grosso was later pictured on a stretcher and with a bloodied face, which required medical attention.
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“He can’t hold a conversation, he had shards of glass in his face,” Lyon’s president, John Textor, told Prime Video. “I’m very angry – our players, our coach, prepared for tonight and the fans wanted to see the game played.”
Lyon said in a statement: “Six buses of Olympique Lyonnais supporters were also targeted. If in the past, attacks of this type had already taken place, which Olympique Lyonnais has always regretted, this Sunday, 29 October, a new step towards the worst was taken.
“In fact, several secure windows were broken by heavy projectiles of unknown nature. These same projectiles penetrated the interior of the bus. Coach Fabio Grosso and his assistant Raffaele Longo were directly hit and seriously injured in the face during this attack. Present with them on the bus, the players and staff were also deeply affected by the violence of this attack, which Olympique Lyonnais strongly condemns.”
Fans were asked to leave the stadium calmly. “Following the injuries of Lyon members, considering the opinion of the club, which did not wish to start the match, and the established protocol, the decision was taken not to play the match,” said the referee Francois Letexier, quoted by French media.
Marseille issued a statement condemning the attack and wishing Grosso well. “The club wishes a speedy recovery to Lyon coach Fabio Grosso and strongly condemns this violent behaviour which has no place in the world of football and in society,” the club said.
Fabio Grosso is treated for his injuries. Photograph: –
“Due to a handful of mindless people, the game planned for this evening was spoiled and deprived 65,000 supporters of attending a football match.”
French football’s governing body, the Ligue de Football Professionnel, confirmed the match was off after an emergency meeting. “It will now be up to the competitions commission to decide on the fate of this match by application of article 544 of the competition regulations,” it said.
Marseille said they hoped the game would take place “as quickly as possible and under the best possible conditions at the Stade Vélodrome”.