Lyon coach Fabio Grosso speaks after violent Marseille bus attack
Lyon head coach Fabio Grosso breaks his silence after needing 13 STITCHES in Marseille bus attack that saw team coach hit by stones and bricks before the grudge match was called off
- Both Grosso and his assistant Raffaele Longo were badly injured in the ambush
- The match is yet to be rescheduled after hooligans attacked players and fans
- Travelling Lyon supporters are also being investigated for alleged racist abuse
Lyon manager Fabio Grosso has broken his silence to thank fans for their support after he was left bleeding by an attack on his side’s team bus in Marseille on Sunday.
The Ligue 1 side has an old and fiercesome rivalry with the Cote d’Azur team but the weekend’s events saw a planned ‘Choc des Olympiques’ clash called off after Marseille supporters hurled stones and bricks at the bus as it made its way to Stade Velodrome.
The missiles shattered the coach’s glass windows and both Grosso and his assistant Raffaele Longo were struck by shards of glass.
Once the windows were broken, players and members of Grosso’s coaching team were forced to duck for cover to avoid further injury.
Grosso needed 13 stitches in the wake of the attack – which also saw coachloads of travelling fans come under fire – but stressed that things could have been much worse in a heartful Instagram post.
Fabio Grosso shared a post to his Instagram in the wake of an attack that left him needing 13 stitches in his face
French sports publication L’Equipe gave Grosso’s injuries the front page as they labelled the incident ‘the disgust and the shame’
The head coach was appointed just over a month ago with a view to turning around Lyon’s turbulent fortunes
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‘What happened on Sunday evening could have been a tragedy, and it certainly was for sport and for all those who love it,’ Grosso wrote alongside a picture of his head heavily bandaged applauding with his players.
‘I hope with all my heart that it can be a lesson for our future. Thank you all for your support and your closeness.
‘Go L’OL… always!’
Lyon club president John Textor, speaking on Amazon Prime Video, said Grosso ‘couldn’t hold a conversation [because] he has shards of glass in his face.’
Textor added: ‘I am very angry – our players, our coach, prepared for tonight and the fans wanted to see the game played.
‘Once the window was broken, other projectiles hit him, just above the eye. There were beer bottles, which hit him on the forehead.’
On a dark night in Marseille, Lyon’s travelling fans also came under scrutiny for alleged racist chanting and gestures – including Nazi salutes – in the stadium’s away end.
On Wednesday, France’s league football governing body LFP announced that they would be investigating the supporters with a view to potential disciplinary measures.
The 600 Lyon fans who made the journey had earlier found themselves under attack as they made their way to the stadium.
Lyon’s team bus had its windows smashed and objects were hurled through the openings
The match was called off just before kick-off after violent scenes en route to the Velodrome
Travelling Lyon fans are also under investigation for alleged racist chanting and gestures
Sunday’s incident comes amidst a turbulent season for Lyon as they sit rock bottom of Ligue 1 after a torrid start to their campaign.
Manager Laurent Blanc was sacked in September, after the club’s poor form saw them lambasted by their Bad Gones ultras group who publicly called out the players and the hierarchy itself after a dismal 4-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
Gross took up the mantle at the Groupama Stadium four days after Blanc’s exit, and has overseen two draws and three defeats.
The side will face similarly relegation-threatened Metz at home on Sunday.
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