Fabio Grosso: Lyon manager ‘seriously injured’ as team bus attacked in Marseille – 943hare

A close-up of the Lyon team coach shows damage to some of the windows
A close-up of the Lyon team coach shows damage to some of the windows

Lyon have warned an “even more serious tragedy” could occur if action is not taken after manager Fabio Grosso was “seriously injured” in an attack on the team’s bus in Marseille.

The Ligue 1 match was postponed after the Lyon bus was hit by rocks on its way to Stade Velodrome on Sunday.

Lyon said Grosso and assistant Raffaele Longo were struck by projectiles and had sustained facial injuries.

Marseille said it “deplores the unacceptable incidents”.

Six visiting supporter coaches were also targeted before the game between 10th-placed Marseille and bottom-of-the table Lyon, which had been due to kick off at 19:45 GMT.

In a statement, Lyon said it “regrets that this type of situation occurs every year in Marseille”, 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”.

According to the club, several individuals “violently attacked” the team bus and windows were smashed by projectiles.

Images on social media showed a bloodied Grosso lying on a stretcher. Lyon said the manager and his assistant were “directly hit and seriously injured in the face during the attack”.

The visitors initially wanted to carry on and play the match, but opinions changed following news of the injuries to Grosso and Longo – while the players’ mental state was also taken into account.

“[Grosso] can’t hold a conversation, he had shards of glass in his face,” Lyon club president John Textor told Prime Video.

“I’m very angry – our players, our coach, prepared for tonight and the fans wanted to see the game played.”

Textor added: “Once the window was broken, other projectiles hit him, just above the eye. There were beer bottles, which hit him on the forehead.”

Marseille condemn violent behaviour by ‘mindless people’

Lyon later released footageexternal-link of Grosso – bandaged above the eye – and their players thanking the travelling fans who had remained behind in the stadium.

Marseille president Pablo Longoria said the attacks were “completely unacceptable”, adding: “My first thought is for Fabio Grosso, someone I respect and have known for a long time.

“I went to see him as soon as I arrived at the stadium, I saw how he was.”

Marseille 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,” they added.

Following the attack a crisis meeting was called where it was decided the game should not go ahead. French football’s governing body LFP said its Competitions Commission would decide the next steps.

Marseille said they would comply with any decision made on the fixture’s future but hoped it “takes place as quickly as possible and under the best possible conditions at the Stade Velodrome”.

‘Terrible image for French football’

Thousands of fans were already inside the ground when the announcement was made that the game had been postponed.

“We took into account Lyon’s desires for the match not to take place,” said match referee Francois Letexier at a news conference.

“Based on Lyon’s wishes and the protocol, the decision was taken not to start the match,” he added, saying reports “have been forwarded to the relevant authorities who will decide what action to take”.

French sports minister Amelie 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.”

French football expert Julien Laurens, writing on X,external-link described it as a “terrible image for French football”.

“What a scandalous mess,” he added. “This is not the first time this has happened (and not the last sadly) but I have no words for this. Unacceptable again.”

Seven-time French champions Lyon appointed Grosso, 45, as their manager in September after former France centre-back Laurent Blanc was sacked.

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