- Lyon’s team bus was pelted with rocks, fireworks and bottles in Marseille
- Coach Fabio Grosso was left with serious facial injuries from flying glass
- Sunday night’s Ligue 1 fixture at Stade Velodrome was postponed as a result
GRAPHIC CONTENT WARNING
A bloodied Lyon manager Fabio Grosso appeared on a striking L’Equipe front page on Monday after he was injured in an attack on their team bus by hooligans in Marseille.
Grosso was left with shards of glass embedded in his face after a barrage of rocks and bottles smashed the vehicle’s windows as it arrived in Marseille for Sunday night’s Ligue 1 fixture.
The Italian coach and his assistant Raffaele Longo were both injured and required medical treatment upon arrival at the Stade Velodrome, with the match subsequently postponed.
The shameful attack led to condemnation from both clubs and the French government, with sports minister Amelie Oudea-Castera calling the incident ‘revolting’.
L’Equipe described it as ‘disgusting and shameful’, adding that French football had been ‘plunged into a new crisis.’
Lyon, who are stranded at the bottom of Ligue 1, were travelling to the Stade Velodrome for Sunday night’s game with ninth-placed Marseille when their bus came under attack.
Rocks, bricks, fireworks and bottles were launched at the bus windows by a group on the street, with several smashing. The damage forced the bus to a halt, making it a stationary target.
Former Italy World Cup winner Grosso suffered significant injuries and was left bleeding profusely after shards of glass struck his face.
He was later seen heavily bandaged having received medical attention once the bus arrived at the stadium. His assistant Longo reportedly suffered an eye injury from the flying glass.
The Lyon players looked visibly shaken as they disembarked from the bus and they opted not to play the game.
Lyon supporters already inside the stadium attempted to break through netting splitting them from Marseille fans.
Six buses carrying visiting Lyon fans were also targeted with a video showing a group throwing objects including fireworks at one of their vehicles.
Lyon said in a statement it was far from the first time such incidents had happened in Marseille.
‘Lyon regrets that this type of situation occurs every years in Marseille,’ it read, adding the club ‘invites the authorities to take stock of the seriousness and repetition of this type of incident before an even more serious tragedy occurs.’
The club confirmed Gross and his assistant were ‘directly hit and seriously injured in the face during the attack.’
Lyon club president John Textor, speaking on Amazon Prime Video, said Grosso ‘couldn’t hold a conversation [because] he has shards of glass in his face.’
Textor added: ‘I am very angry – our players, our coach, prepared for tonight and the fans wanted to see the game played.
‘Once the window was broken, other projectiles hit him, just above the eye. There were beer bottles, which hit him on the forehead.’
French sports minister Oudea-Castera told the AFP news agency: ‘These images are revolting. Seeing the stoned bus like that, the bloody face of Fabio Grosso… These are unacceptable acts which go against the very values of football and sport.
‘I hope that the investigation will be carried out quickly, that the perpetrators are found and they are severely punished.’
Marseille president Pablo Longoria described the attacks as ‘completely unacceptable’, with the club issuing a statement condemning ‘this violent behaviour which has no place in the world of football and in society.’
The French league convened a crisis meeting and said its Competitions Commission will decide when the fixture will be replayed and whether fans will be admitted.
Grosso was appointed as Lyon’s manager just a month prior to the attack, taking over from former Manchester United defender Laurent Blanc.
Lyon’s performances haven’t improved since his appointment, with only one point earned in the four matches following the managerial change.
They are currently two points behind Clermont at the bottom of the league standings. Marseille entered the Sunday night meeting in ninth place, having secured three wins in their first nine league games.
The rivalry between the two clubs dates back to 1945 and is branded the ‘Choc des Olympiques’, which translates to ‘Clash of the Olympics’.