The Ligue 1 game between Marseille and Lyon scheduled for Sunday night was postponed after the visiting team’s bus was attacked, leaving manager Fabio Grosso with a facial injury.
Le Parisien report Lyon’s bus was damaged extensively as stones were thrown at the vehicle while it was en route to Stade Orange Velodrome. Videos circulating on social media show gaping holes in the windows, while Grosso has been pictured sporting a heavy bandage around his head.
The game was due to kick off at 19:45 GMT but the postponement was made official a few minutes before that time.
“A crisis meeting took place, which allowed us to take into account the opinions of the relevant parties following injuries to members of Lyon’s staff,” referee Francois Letexier said at a news conference.
“OL did not want the tie to take place. Taking into account OL’s decision and the league’s protocol, the decision was taken not to start the match. It will not take place. The decision has been taken. What happens next will be decided by the relevant authorities.”
Authority figures from both sides were angry in the immediate aftermath.
Lyon owner John Textor was insistent his team still wanted to play, telling Prime Video Sport: “No [we didn’t ask to cancel the match]. Very quickly after it happened, we had a team meeting. Our team decided they would play. They wanted to play, they were ready to play. I’m very proud of the captain wanting to do that. The decision was made independently of us. We wanted to play football. We’re angry.”
Marseille president Pablo Longoria added: “It’s unacceptable. I say sincerely, we have to prevent what happened to Fabio Grosso; it’s completely unacceptable. It is something that cannot happen in football. They’re just reckless idiots. Spoiling a party, in a stadium with 65,000 because of recklessness. I am angry. Especially because it has no place in football, or in society.”
A decision on when the game will be rescheduled will be determined by Ligue 1’s Competitions Commission.
The two French giants are enduring tough seasons so far. Lyon are down in 20th and yet to win a single league game, while Marseille are tenth, eight points behind third-place Monaco. Paris Saint-Germain, who struck late to beat Brest 3-2 on Sunday, are a point behind leaders Nice after ten games.
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