Fans in Marseille, France, threw stones and fireworks at a bus carrying visiting team Lyon on Sunday, shattering windows and leaving coach Fabio Grosso with a head injury.
The attack caused Ligue 1 to postpone the game between Marseille and Lyon.
Details of Grosso’s condition were not released following the injuries that left blood running down his face and hands. After emergency treatment, he was seen walking around with a bandage around his head and left eye.
🚨 OL manager Fabio Grosso was injured after the team coach was attacked with stones on the trip to Marseille.
Emergency medical treatment for Fabio Grosso this evening. pic.twitter.com/0bFuHizhyp
– Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 29, 2023
Grosso later joined his players to address the Lyon fans who had come to watch the game. Team owner John Textor said after the incident that Grosso had “shards of glass stuck in his head.”
Video was recorded of the attack, which took place as Lyon’s bus arrived for the game at the Stade Vélodrome. A small group of fans threw rocks at the bus as it drove down a city street. Others fired what appeared to be bottle rockets at the bus.
A video from the parking garage shows the aftermath of the attack, in which several of the bus’s windows were shattered.
🚨🇫🇷 Lyon’s team coach was stoned when he traveled to the away game against Marseille.
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) October 29, 2023
Lyons announced this in a statement that attacking fans also targeted six vehicles containing team fans in addition to the team bus. “Several reinforced windows were shattered by heavy projectiles of unknown origin,” the statement said.
The statement also cited assistant coach Raffaele Longo’s “physical condition” as the reason for the game being canceled. The team did not provide any further information about Long’s condition.
Lyon owner John Textor said after the incident that the players initially wanted to continue the game until the severity of Grosso’s injuries was realized.
LEAVE MARSEILLE FOR LYON
Lyon owner John Textor: “We have a coach [Fabio Grosso] from whose head blood flows. There are shards of glass stuck in his head. We support the referee’s decision [to abandon the game].” #OMOL pic.twitter.com/ma5JuWgN0t
— World Soccer Talk (@worldsoccertalk) October 29, 2023
“Our team decided they would play,” Textor told Amazon Prime France. “They instructed me to tell the league they were ready to play. I’m obviously proud of the captains and proud of the players for wanting to do this.”
Referee Francois Letexier explained the decision to abandon the game in a press conference.
“We have applied the protocol that states that if either party is injured and their participation is at risk due to this physical attack, the game should not be played.” Letexier said.
Textor described Grosso’s injuries, which he said led to a concussion.
“It was emotional,” Textor continued. “We have a coach who has blood coming out of his head. He has broken glass in his head. He must have made contact with his head. There was more than just broken glass because it wasn’t really clear.” . …
“The coach is still not in good shape. He obviously couldn’t train. I couldn’t even have a conversation with him. He appeared bandaged and had serious physical injuries. When I tried to have a conversation with him, it looked like he had a concussion. … I think as the night went on, our team supported the referee’s decision.
Grosso was well enough to go onto the pitch with the players to greet and thank the Lyon fans who remained in the stands after the game was cancelled.
A statement from Ligue 1 announced that the Competition Commission will decide on the next steps regarding the attack and the postponed game. There was no mention of when or if the game might be postponed.
Lyon condemned the attack, which it described as part of a pattern in Marseille, and said it would “file a complaint in the coming days.”
“Olympique Lyonnais regrets that such a situation occurs every year in Marseille and calls on the authorities to take into account the seriousness and recurrence of such incidents before an even more serious tragedy occurs,” Lyon’s statement said.
Marseille released a statement also condemning the attack.
“Olympique de Marseille regrets the unacceptable incidents that occurred this evening near the Stade Orange Vélodrome, involving the official team bus and buses of Olympique Lyonnais fans,” the statement said. “The club wishes Lyon coach Fabio Grosso a speedy recovery and strongly condemns this violent behavior, which has no place in the world of football or in society.”