- Both Grosso and his assistant Raffaele Longo were seriously injured in the ambush
- The game has yet to be postponed after hooligans attacked players and fans
- Lyon supporters traveling with them are also being investigated for alleged racist insults
Lyon coach Fabio Grosso has broken his silence to thank fans for their support after he was left bloodied in an attack on his team’s team bus in Marseille on Sunday.
The Ligue 1 side has an old and bitter rivalry with the French Riviera side, but the weekend’s events saw a planned ‘Choc des Olympiques’ clash canceled after Marseille fans blocked the bus on the way to the Stade Velodrome had thrown stones and bricks at them.
The rockets shattered the glass windows of the bus and both Grosso and his assistant Raffaele Longo were hit by shards of glass.
After the windows were broken, players and members of Grosso’s coaching staff had to take cover to avoid further injury.
Grosso had to receive 13 stitches after the attack, which also drew criticism from numerous fans who had traveled with him, but emphasized in a heartfelt Instagram post that it could have been much worse.
Fabio Grosso shared a post on his Instagram following an attack that left him needing 13 stitches in his face
French sports newspaper L’Equipe put Grosso’s injuries on the front page and described the incident as “disgust and disgrace.”
The head coach was appointed just over a month ago in a bid to turn around the turbulent situation in Lyon
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“What happened Sunday night could have been a tragedy, and it certainly was a tragedy for the sport and for everyone who loves it,” Grosso wrote alongside a picture of his heavily bandaged head applauding with his players.
“I hope with all my heart that it can be a lesson for our future.” Thank you everyone for your support and your closeness.
“Go L’OL… always!”
John Textor, president of the Lyon club, said in a speech on Amazon Prime Video that Grosso “couldn’t have a conversation.” [because] He has broken glass on his face.’
Textor added: “I’m very angry – our players, our coach, prepared for tonight and the fans wanted to see the game.”
“After the window was broken, more projectiles hit him directly above the eye. “There were beer bottles that hit him in the forehead.”
On a dark night in Marseille, Lyon fans traveling with them were also investigated for alleged racist chants and gestures – including Nazi salutes – at the stadium’s away game.
On Wednesday, the French football association LFP announced that it would launch an investigation into the fans with a view to possible disciplinary action.
The 600 Lyon fans who had traveled were previously attacked on the way to the stadium.
The windows of Lyon’s team bus were smashed and objects were thrown through the openings
The game was abandoned shortly before kick-off after violent scenes on the way to the velodrome
Lyon fans traveling with them are also being investigated for alleged racist chants and gestures
Sunday’s incident came amid a turbulent season for Lyon, which has seen the team find themselves at the bottom of Ligue 1 after a resounding start to the campaign.
Coach Laurent Blanc was sacked in September after the club’s poor form was heavily criticized by Ultras group Bad Gones, who publicly criticized the players and the hierarchy themselves following a dismal 4-0 defeat to Paris Saint-Germain.
Four days after Blanc’s departure, Gross took over as coach at Groupama Stadium and ensured two draws and three defeats.
The team will face Metz, who are also in danger of relegation, at home on Sunday.