Lyon Requests Neutral Venue For Postponed Marseille Tie

Lyon requested on Tuesday that their postponed Ligue 1 fixture away to Marseille be played at a neutral ground following the attack on the team bus by opposing fans. “At the moment, the safety conditions necessary to play in Marseille have not been met,” said Lyon’s general manager Vincent Ponsot on the club’s TV channel. “We have to play at a neutral ground… What we want is for the safety of our players to be guaranteed.”  Speaking on the same channel, Lyon deputy managing director Xavier Pierrot said that the club, as well as its staff, would be formally lodging complaints in the coming days.

The match was originally set for last Sunday, but was called off after the home Marseille fans attacked the Lyon bus as it entered the Stade Velodrome, injuring coach Fabio Grosso.

Grosso, who had to have 12 stitches after the incident and was unable to take part in Tuesday’s training session, made his first statement about events in Marseille.

“What happened on Sunday evening could have been a tragedy, and it certainly was for the sport and all those who love it,” he wrote in a message on Instagram.

“I hope with all my heart that it will serve as a lesson for our future,” he added.

Three investigations have already been opened by the prosecutor’s office in Marseille, two of them related to the stoning of the team bus and a bus containing Lyon fans.

The third pertains to the behaviour of Lyon supporters in the stadium, who have been accused of racism and performing Nazi salutes.

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