Fans in Marseille, France, pelted a bus carrying visiting soccer team Lyon with rocks and fireworks Sunday, breaking windows and bloodying coach Fabio Grosso with a head injury.
The attack prompted Ligue 1 to postpone the match between Marseille and Lyon.
Specifics of Grosso's condition weren't made clear in the aftermath of injuries that left blood pouring down his face and covering his hands. He was seen walking with a bandage around his head and his left eye after receiving emergency treatment.
🚨 OL manager Fabio Grosso injured after team coach was attacked with stones whilst travelling to Marseille.
Emergency medical treatment for Fabio Grosso tonight. pic.twitter.com/0bFuHizhyp
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) October 29, 2023
Grosso later joined his players to address Lyon fans who had traveled to watch the game. Team owner John Textor said after the incident that Grosso had "pieces of glass stuck in his head."
Video was captured of the attack that took place as Lyon's bus arrived for the game at Stade Vélodrome. A small group of fans hurled rocks at the bus as it drove down a city street. Others fired what appeared to be bottle rockets toward the bus.
The attacks on Fabio Grosso’s team bus. Unreal.
— Italian Football News 🇮🇹 (@footitalia1) October 29, 2023
Video from the parking garage shows the aftermath of the attack that left multiple windows on the bus shattered.
🚨🇫🇷 Lyon's team coach was stoned whilst travelling to the away game vs Marseille.
Manager Fabio Grosso is injured and bleeding from his face. He is currently receiving treatment, reports @RMCsport. 🏥 pic.twitter.com/PYOU1y4Ms4
— EuroFoot (@eurofootcom) October 29, 2023
Lyon announced in a statement that attacking fans targeted six vehicles carrying team supporters in addition to the team bus. "Several reinforced windows were shattered by heavy projectiles of unknown origin,” the statement reads.
The statement also referenced the "physical condition" of assistant coach Raffaele Longo as a reason for the match being called off. The team didn't provide further details of Longo's condition.
Lyon owner John Textor said after the incident that players initially wanted to carry on with the match until the severity of Grosso's injuries were realized.
MARSEILLE VS LYON ABANDONED
Lyon owner John Textor: “We have a coach [Fabio Grosso] who has blood coming out of his head. He has pieces of glass stuck in his head. We support the decision of the referee [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 go tell the league they were ready to play. I'm obviously proud of the captains and proud of the players for wanting to do that."
Referee Francois Letexier explained the decision to call off the game in a news conference.
“We 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,” Letexier said.
Textor described the injuries to Grosso, which he believes left him concussed.
"It was emotional," Textor continued. "We have a coach who's got blood coming out of his head. He's got pieces of glass stuck in his head. He must have taken some contact to his head. There was a bit more than shattering glass, because he wasn't really lucid. ...
"The coach is still not in good shape. He clearly could not coach. I couldn't even have a conversation with him. He looked bandaged, and he had a great deal of physical injury. In trying to have a conversation with him, it looked like he had a concussion. ... I think as the night went on, our team supported the decision of the referee."
Grosso was well enough to walk on to the field with players to greet and thank the Lyon fans who remained in the stands after the game was postponed.
Our team wanted to greet our supporters ❤️💙 pic.twitter.com/0vRfptUbqJ
— Olympique Lyonnais 🇬🇧🇺🇸 (@OL_English) October 29, 2023
A Ligue 1 statement announced that the competitions committee will decide on the next steps to be taken regarding the attack and the postponed match. It did not address when or if the game might be rescheduled.
Lyon condemned the attack that it described as part of a pattern in Marseille and vowed to "file a complaint in the coming days."
"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's statement reads.
Marseille released a statement likewise condemning the attack.
"Olympique de Marseille deplores the unacceptable incidents that took place this evening in the vicinity of the Stade Orange Vélodrome, involving the official team bus and buses of the supporters of Olympique Lyonnais," the statement reads. "The club wishes Lyon coach Fabio Grosso a speedy recovery and strongly condemns this violent behaviour, which has no place in the world of football or in society."