Thursday, February 29, 2024

Lyon coach injured in team bus attack, match postponed

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MARSEILLE, Oct 30: Lyon coach Fabio Grosso suffered a head injury as the team bus came under attack from fans throwing projectiles, forcing the postponement of the French league soccer game at Marseille.
The team bus was hit on the way to Stade Velodrome, shattering some windows on Sunday.
Grosso was injured by falling shards of glass and needed medical treatment with his face bleeding heavily. Lyon assistant coach Raffaele Longo was also injured.
Grosso suffered a deep cut above his left eye that required stitches and a large bandage wrapped around his head.
“Our team (had) decided they would play,” Lyon president John Textor said.“I’m obviously proud of the captain, proud of the players, for wanting to do that.” Lyon changed its mind when more details about Grosso’s condition emerged.
“It was emotional. We have a coach who’s got blood coming out of his head, he’s got pieces of glass stuck in his head,” Textor said.“I couldn’t have a conversation with him. It looked like he had a concussion. At that point, our team was mixed. They said, you know, it’s not an emotional, physical game. It’s a tactical game, and this is not the way football should be played. As the night went on, I think our team supported the decision of the referee.” A few minutes before the scheduled kickoff time at 1945 GMT, a message on the giant screen at Stade Velodrome said: “Dear supporters, the game will not be played tonight.” A French league commission will meet to decide what to do with the fixture.
“Lyon didn’t want the game to be played,” referee Francois Letexier told a news conference. “We also applied the protocol, which states that the game shouldn’t be played when a party is injured and his participation is compromised because of this physical assault.”Marseille president Pablo Longoria said Sunday’s attack was unacceptable.
Coaches carrying Lyon fans were also attacked. The police arrested seven people suspected of being involved in Sunday’s incidents but did not give details.Grosso scored the winning penalty kick for Italy in the shootout victory over France in the 2006 World Cup final.
Both clubs have been under pressure lately. (PTI)

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