On a post on Instagram, FIFA president Gianni Infantino expressed public condemnation of violence which took place last night in Marseille, causing the postponement of the Olympico between Olympique de Marseille and Olympique Lyonnais. The Swiss administrator of world football said “There is absolutely no place for violence in football,” in a post with a photo of Lyon manager Fabio Grosso, who sustained a bloody face injury and concussion after Les Gones’ team bus was attacked by a group of Marseille supporters.
“In football, all players, coaches, and supporters must be safe to enjoy our sport,” he firmly declared. “I call on all the competent authorities to make sure that the appropriate measures are taken. In football, without expetion, all players, coaches, and supporters have to safe to enjoy our sport.”
The violent incidents began before the match when Marseille supporters targeted the Lyon team bus, hurling stones, glass bottles, and various projectiles at it. As reinforced windows succumbed to repeated attacks, a paving stone struck Lyon’s coach, Fabio Grosso, in the eye area, causing injury and concussion.
Promptly after the incident, a crisis team was formed, including match officials, the LFP delegate, and representatives from both Marseille and Lyon. An hour later, a press conference was held, where Alexandre Letexier, the match referee, announced that Lyon did not wish to continue the game. Following the established league protocol and Lyon’s stance, the decision was made not to proceed with the match
Lyon’s Ultras, armed with French flags, also used the opportunity to engage in racist and Islamophobic chants directed at the South Winners, exacerbating tensions within the stadium between the two Olympiques and their ultras.
GFFN | George Boxall