Fayçal, one of the bus drivers responsible for taking the fans to the Vélodrome stadium, told Le Progrès about the sequence of events before the Marseille-Lyon clash on Sunday evening.
It was a high-risk match. However, for the first time since 2015, Lyon supporters were allowed to go to the Vélodrome to attend the Olympico between Marseille and Lyon. A match that was ultimately postponed due to the serious incidents that occurred before the game. In addition to the players’ bus – where Fabio Grosso and his assistant Raffaele Longo were injured – three buses carrying Lyon supporters were stoned upon arriving near the Marseille stadium.
As explained by RMC Sport on Sunday evening, a group of about a hundred people, all with their faces masked, attacked the front bus with stones and smoke bombs, escorted by two CRS trucks. Several people were injured. In the midst of this chaos, Fayçal experienced an anxious evening. Accustomed to driving Lyon supporters to OL matches all over France, the bus driver recounted the events leading up to the Olympico to Le Progrès.
>> Follow the latest news about the incidents before OM-OL live
« The action was carried out by people wearing masks and scarves of OM »
Departing from Bron around 1 pm and arriving near the Vélodrome six hours later, Fayçal remembers the « good atmosphere » before arriving in Marseille. Before things took a turn for the worse. « In each bus, there is a supporter representative who manages things. At the Lançon toll booth, we were escorted by a convoy of CRS and gendarmes (…) We learned through the radio that the players’ bus had been stoned. The police services ordered us to stop the bus. We waited for just under an hour, and when we finally resumed the journey to the stadium, it was the beginning of the stoning of the first of the four buses leaving from the Rhône-Alpes region. »
According to the bus driver, « the action was carried out by people wearing masks and scarves of OM and the South Winners. » « The window on my side as the driver shattered. We were able to make our way to the underground parking lots reserved for the supporters. There, we no longer feared anything. The supporters went up to the stands. Members of the Professional Football League came to take photos, and at 10 pm, I was still waiting to know when I would finally be able to bring ‘my’ supporters back safely. »
Meanwhile, the Lyon players returned in a replacement bus, as the official bus had not been adequately secured.