Fabio Grosso Injured as Lyon Team Bus Attacked Heading to Marseille Match
Italian World Cup-winning footballer Fabio Grosso suffered a bloody head injury when his Lyon team bus was attacked by fans throwing projectiles ahead of a French Ligue 1 match in Marseille.
Key points: League officials canceled the match despite Lyon's president saying his team was "ready to play." Lyon's president, Jean-Michel Aulas, said Grosso was "unconscious" and appeared to have a concussion. Marseille condemned the actions of fans on the street and hopes for the match to be rescheduled. The Lyon team bus was hit on the way to the Vélodrome stadium, resulting in several windows being shattered and league officials having to cancel the match.
Grosso was left bloodied from shards of glass and required medical attention, with his face bleeding profusely.
"We have a coach whose head is bleeding. He has shards of glass in his head. And he must have had some contact with his head that was more than just breaking the glass because he wasn't completely conscious," said Lyon President Jean-Michel Aulas to a leading television company.
"It was quite a shocking scene. He still wasn't in good shape. He obviously couldn't coach. I couldn't even talk to him."
Less than an hour before the scheduled kickoff, it was unclear whether league officials would allow the game to go ahead in such circumstances, with fans already in their seats.
Aulas said Lyon was "ready to play," but as the situation dragged on, they supported the referees' decision to cancel the match, sparking angry scenes from fans inside the stadium.
Marseille's statement expressed "regret at the unacceptable incidents" that led to Grosso's injury.
"The club wishes a swift recovery to Lyon's coach Fabio Grosso and strongly condemns this aggressive behavior, which has no place in the world of football or society," the statement said.
"Due to a handful of dishonest individuals, the party scheduled for this evening was ruined and deprived 65,000 fans of the opportunity to attend a football match."
Grosso was the player who earned Italy a World Cup victory with a late penalty in the round of 16 against Australia at the 2006 FIFA World Cup. He also scored the winning penalty in the shootout against France in the World Cup final.
Grosso took over as Lyon's coach in September, but after nine matches, the team is still winless.
Lyon is the only team in the league that has yet to win a game. The replacement of Laurent Blanc with Grosso as coach in September has not yielded results for Lyon, which sits in last place.
In Marseille's statement, they supported the decision to postpone the match and hoped to assist in rescheduling it "as soon as possible."