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Ligue 1: kick-off of the OM-OL match canceled after the Lyon bus was stoned in Marseille

The rivalry between the two Olympics has fueled the chronicle of Ligue 1 for several years. But it has just taken a further step in violence, becoming more ridiculous than folkloric. After a meeting of a crisis unit of the Professional Football League (LFP), it was decided that the meeting between Marseille (OM) and Lyon (OL) would not take place on Sunday October 29. The announcement was made by the announcer to the spectators present in the stands at 8:42 p.m., three minutes before the time initially scheduled for kick-off. At issue: the attack on the Rhone club bus, during its journey to the Stade-Vélodrome, during which the coach, Fabio Grosso, was injured.

Last in Ligue 1, in the midst of a crisis, OL presented themselves as a battered beast in the Marseille city for this 10e day of the French championship. The metaphor materialized all the more suddenly when the bus carrying the team arrived. As is often the case when Lyonnais travel to Marseille, the vehicle was targeted by cobblestones. This time, the right front window was completely broken, another partially damaged. In the images from the broadcaster, Prime Video, we see the staff and security of the Rhone club signaling the cameras to stop filming. A bloody bag is brandished: proof of the violent incident that has just occurred.

The blood belongs to Fabio Grosso, the Italian coach of OL. Hit by one of the projectiles, he was treated in the stadium infirmary. He received stitches to repair a 3-centimeter gash, very close to his eye. He also suffered from numerous dizziness and suffered from multiple traumas. His deputy, Raffaele Longo, was also affected.

Questioned by Prime Video, John Textor, the American president of the club, gave details on his coach’s injury: “He was no longer lucid. It’s a shocking scene. I tried to talk to him but it seems he has a concussion. » Fabio Grosso was transferred to hospital to undergo further examinations.

“A collective awareness”

The Lyon players initially expressed their desire to play the match, before taking stock of the state of health of their coach and his assistant. “Our team wanted to play. I am very proud of our captain [Anthony Lopes]his attitude was very moving”, said John Textor. After consulting the various stakeholders – the two clubs, the public authorities, representatives of the LFP and the referee – the crisis unit finally decided that the kick-off would not be given this Sunday evening.

The referee was responsible for presenting the decision, during a short press conference, shortly before 9 p.m.: “Injuries to members of the OL staff were noted. The club did not want the meeting to take place. A wish in accordance with the LFP protocol, which provides that when a field player is injured for physical or psychological reasons, the meeting cannot take place. » A position also supported by OM. “There was a collective awareness of the seriousness of the facts”Mr. Letexier subsequently insisted.

Deputy President of OM, Pablo Longoria addressed his thoughts to Fabio Grosso: “ What happened to him is unacceptable. Even though it happened outside the stadium, I’m angry at these unconscious people [les auteurs de l’agression]. I am appalled and this has no place in football or in society. » The allusion to the fact that the incidents occurred outside the Vélodorme is not accidental. In terms of security, the clubs’ responsibility stops within the confines of their stadium. In November 2021, a plastic bottle thrown at Marseille player Dimitri Payer, in Lyon, led to a 1-point sporting sanction against OL and the postponement of the match.

OL will file a complaint

The LFP announced that“it will now be up to the Competitions Commission to decide on the fate of this meeting by application of article 544 of the competition regulations. » The football authorities will have to find the balance between respecting the regulations and the desire to send a strong message, in the face of an unprecedented attack in the turbulent history of Ligue 1.

For its part, OL announced, a little later in the evening, its intention to file a complaint and “will accompany anyone who wishes to do the same”. “Olympique Lyonnais regrets that this type of situation occurs every year in Marseille and invites the authorities to take stock of the seriousness and repetition of this type of incident before an even more serious tragedy occurs”insists the club in a press release.

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This Sunday, a Rhone supporter bus was also stoned, its windows impacted and some passengers injured. Six hundred Lyon fans were authorized to travel to Marseille by the police chief. The match was classified 4 out of 5 by the services of the National Division for the Fight against Hooliganism, that is to say high risk.

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