Time for sport. At the game and “at the party”, as Marseille coach Gennaro Gattuso underlined. A little over a month after the dramatic events which caused the postponement of the match, the OL and OM players will meet this Wednesday at the Vélodrome stadium to play a high-tension match.
On October 29, shortly before his arrival at the Vélodrome, the bus carrying the players and staff of the Lyon team was targeted and stoned. Several windows had been broken and Lyon coach Fabio Grosso, since dismissed, had been seriously injured in the face. A Marseille fan was also sentenced to four months in prison for throwing a projectile.
During the pre-match press conference, held this Tuesday afternoon, Gennaro Gattuso on Tuesday invited his team’s supporters not to “make a mess”. “For our “tifosi”, it must be a day of celebration and I am sure that it will be the case. We saw what it was like to play against Rennes without our ultras, we don’t want that to happen again. They know the importance of this match and they know that they must not make a mess, continued Gattuso. But I don’t have to explain anything to them, I have great confidence in them.”
After the incidents, the match was canceled. The Professional Football League (LFP) finally rescheduled it for Wednesday (9 p.m.), still in Marseille and in the presence of the public, but without Lyon supporters, contrary to what the Lyon club would have liked, whose appeal was was deemed inadmissible.
On Tuesday, Gattuso also spoke about the risk of a complete ban on the movement of supporters during football matches, mentioned on Monday by the Minister of Sports Amélie Oudéa-Castéra in reaction to several serious incidents in French football, in particular the death of a supporter on Saturday in Nantes.
“I experienced it personally,” Gattuso first recalled. There were deaths during a match I played, the match was stopped. But (banning travel) it would be a defeat for football, a defeat for sport. But it’s normal that there are decisions made when things like this happen. There is nothing more beautiful than a full stadium, with children, people who come to the stadium from father to son. A football match should be like a cinema or theater session, where families can go in peace. Children should be able to come see their idols and experience a day of celebration holding their father or mother’s hand. But stadiums cannot be lawless zones. »