The images of a football coach’s face covered in blood cause horror in France. There are arrests after the scandalous evening in Marseille. Politics gets involved.
France’s Sports Minister Amélie Oudéa-Castéra has clearly condemned the scandalous incidents before the ultimately canceled football match between Olympique Marseille and Olympique Lyon. Among other things, the team bus of the guests from Lyon was attacked with stones, Olympique Lyon coach Fabio Grosso was hit in the head, and his assistant coach Raffaele Longo was also injured in the attack.
“These unacceptable acts deny the values of football and sport, and their perpetrators must all be found and severely punished,” Oudéa-Castéra wrote on X, formerly Twitter. The pictures are outrageous. According to Interior Minister Gérald Darmanin, there have already been nine arrests. The 41-year-old politician also reported on the BFM broadcaster that five police officers were injured.
Southern French rivals
Oudéa-Castéra (45) wrote of actions that were characterized by “stupidity and hatred” and had nothing to do with sport. After the riots during the delicate clash between the southern French rivals, the league game in Marseille was canceled. There were also attacks on buses carrying Lyon fans, and according to police reports, supporters were slightly injured.
“There is absolutely no place for violence in football, neither on the pitch nor off,” FIFA President Gianni Infantino wrote on Instagram. He appealed to the relevant authorities to take appropriate measures. The 53-year-old Swiss also posted a photo of Grosso and wrote: “Forza Fabio.”
Riots are not uncommon at games between the two clubs. Almost two years ago, a game in Lyon was abandoned after ex-national player Dimitri Payet, who was then playing for Marseille, was hit in the head by a full water bottle.
Broken glass on the face
This time it was mainly Grosso (45) who was hit. “He couldn’t hold a conversation, he had broken glass on his face,” reported OL club boss John Textor. There was a huge hole in the right side of the team bus when the team arrived at the Stade Vélodrome. “What happened to Fabio Grosso, the coach of Olympique Lyon, must be prevented, it is completely unacceptable. This is something that can no longer happen in football,” said Marseille president Pablo Longoria.
“The disgust and the hatred,” wrote the French sports newspaper “L’Équipe” on the front page, which also showed the blood-covered face of former world champion Grosso. “We cannot continue like this,” said Bouches-du-Rhône police chief Frédérique Camilleri.
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