By Samindra Kunti in Marseille
October 30 – Ligue 1 match between Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyon was called off after Lyon’s team bus was attacked on the way to the Stade Velodrome.
The bus was pelted with stones, resulting in an injury to manager Fabio Grosso.
As a consequence, Lyon requested the match was called off and said they would file a complaint in the next few days.
In a statement, the club wrote: “This type of situation recurs every year in Marseille and invites the authorities to take stock of the seriousness and repetition of this type of incident before an even greater tragedy occurs.
“He can’t hold a conversation, he had shards of glass in his face,” said Lyon president, John Textor.“I’m very angry – our players, our coach, prepared for tonight and the fans wanted to see the game played.”
Textor said the windows of the bus were shattered by beer cans.
Marseille also issued a statement saying: “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.
“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.”
Following the incident, local police said seven arrests had been made.
On Twitter, French sports minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra said: “These actions marked by stupidity and hatred, which have nothing to do with sport, must be eradicated with the greatest determination by the collective of all actors, public and private, who truly love sport and must unite more firmly than ever to defend it.”
Marseille – Lyon is historically a match marked by tension, even more so this season with Textor’s team at the bottom of the table. The American owner has however downplayed Lyon’s precarious situation.
Contact the writer of this story at firstname.lastname@example.org