MARSEILLE, France – Lyon coach Fabio Grosso and assistant coach Raffaele Longo were injured after the team bus came under attack by fans throwing projectiles as they made their way to Stade Velodrome for the French league soccer game against Marseille. The violent incident led to the postponement of the match on Sunday.
Grosso suffered a head injury from falling glass shards and required medical attention, including stitches and a large bandage wrapped around his head. The attack left the coach with a deep cut above his left eye. Lyon president John Textor expressed his pride in the team’s decision to play, initially, despite the harrowing experience. However, Lyon decided to reconsider when more details about Grosso’s condition emerged.
The decision not to play the game was made as Grosso’s condition was assessed. Referee Francois Letexier stated that the game shouldn’t be played when a party is injured and unable to participate due to a physical assault, in line with the protocol.
This incident is not the first instance of violence between Marseille and Lyon fans. Ten years ago, a violent brawl broke out between the two groups, leaving 17 people injured. The tension between the two teams has been palpable ever since, especially when they face each other in a match.
Marseille president Pablo Longoria expressed his outrage at the attack on Grosso and stressed that such incidents should be prevented in football and in society. The intensity of the rivalry also led to coaches carrying Lyon fans being attacked, resulting in the arrest of seven people suspected of involvement in the violent incidents, according to the police.
Both clubs involved in the match, Marseille and Lyon, have been struggling in the league. Despite recent changes, Marseille is still showing poor form, with Lyon being the only winless team at the bottom of the league standings.
The attack on the Lyon team bus serves as a grim reminder of the escalating tensions between rival fan groups and raises concerns about the safety and security of players and staff in the sport.