PARIS: The French league match between Marseille and Lyon was called off after the visitors’ team bus was pelted with stones, injuring coach Fabio Grosso, as the players made their way to the Stade Velodrome.

Sky Italia footage showed damage to two bus windows and Grosso being led into the stadium by two assistants. He had been struck in the face by flying shards of glass and was covering his face with his hands, which were stained with blood. Italian media said Grosso suffered injuries to his scalp and face.

Lyon president John Textor said: “He can’t hold a conversation, he had shards of glass in his face. I’m very angry – our players, our coach, prepared for tonight and the fans wanted to see the game played.

The match was called off and fans were asked to leave the stadium calmly.

Referee Francois Letexier said: “Following the injuries of Lyon members, considering the opinion of the club, which did not wish to start the match, and the established protocol, the decision was taken not to play the match.”

French sports minister Amelie Oudea Castera said: “The images of the OL bus attacked with stones and its supporters, and of Fabio Grosso’s blooded face, are appalling.

“These unacceptable acts deny the very values of soccer and sport, and the perpetrators must all be found and severely punished.”

She said seven suspects had been arrested on Sunday night.

Marseille said it accepted the decision taken by the French Professional League to call off the game, pledging to make sure it could “take place at the Stade Velodrome as soon as possible and under the best possible conditions”.

“Because of a handful of thoughtless people, the party planned for this evening has been ruined, and 65,000 fans have been deprived of attending a football match,” the club added.


“Olympique Lyonnais regrets that this type of situation occurs every year in Marseille and calls on the authorities to take the seriousness and the repetition of such incidents into account before an even more serious tragedy occurs,” Lyon said.

Lyon are currently bottom of Ligue 1 with three points after nine matches. Marseille are ninth with 12 points.