DOCUMENT BFM Lyon – After the incidents at the Vélodrome stadium during the OM-OL match, a Lyon supporter recounts the events of that dark evening, from the arrival of the bus to the racist chants heard within the Marseille stadium.
« It was a real ambush. » These words come from the mouth of Antoine (name changed). This Lyon supporter in his thirties, accustomed to traveling to away games, was at the Vélodrome this Sunday to watch the Olympico between Marseille and Lyon. Exclusively for BFM Lyon, he shares his experience of the evening of October 29, 2023, which quickly turned into a nightmare.
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At around 7 p.m., after the bus carrying the players was stoned, injuring Fabio Grosso and his assistant Raffaele Longo, supporter buses were also targeted with projectiles. Antoine was on one of those buses. He explains: « We arrived quite late in Marseille, it was dark. I was on a bus with fellow supporters. We had a huge police escort, and yet to get to the Vélodrome, you have to drive through the streets. We knew we were going to be attacked with stones, » he explains.
« To get to the stadium, we had to cross a completely under construction street, right next to the stadium, and so there were paving stones everywhere on the ground, they had unlimited ammunition. It was a real ambush. It took a long time for the police to react, it must have lasted one or two minutes. Many supporters were really shocked. I was with two disabled people who were on a trip for the first time. They were really shaken. »
« F**king Arabs »
Sitting in the visitors’ area at 8 p.m., amidst the booing from the Marseille fans, Antoine saw several French flags, « much more than usual, » being displayed by the Gones supporters, as well as passports. « Usually, the French national anthem is sung once per match, but this time they sang it 15 or 20 times. These guys believe that the people from Marseille are not French, that they are foreigners, » Antoine continues, claiming to have heard phrases such as « instead of finding Charlie [a reference to the Charlie Hebdo attack], we need to find a French person », « f**king Muslims », or « f**king Arabs ».
He goes on to say: « When a CRS (riot control officer) apprehended a Marseille fan who had come onto the field, I heard someone say ‘one less Arab’ or ‘we’re with you, officers, f**k these Arabs’. I clearly saw members of the Mezza Lyon (an identitarian supporters’ group, editor’s note). As for the collective chants, the most notable one was when dozens of supporters chanted ‘blue, white, red, France for the French’ as we exited the visitors’ area around 3 a.m. » Aware that the chants came from « about ten supporters, » Antoine did not witness the Nazi salutes directed at the northern stands. « But the photos and videos are clear. »
As these incidents took place inside the Vélodrome stadium, the Lyon club may face sanctions. On Monday morning, the LFP (French Football League) stated that the racist acts by fans within the stadium will be reviewed by the disciplinary committee based on the reports that will be sent to them.