On Monday, the South Winners supporters’ group denied any involvement in the incidents, including the stoning of the OL bus and the Rhodanian fans’ buses on the sidelines of the Olympico between Lyon and OM at the Vélodrome.
The South Winners group denied on Monday any participation in the incidents during the match between OM and OL on Sunday in the 10th round of Ligue 1. In a statement published on social media, the group led by Rachid Zeroual denied any role in the stoning of the Rhodanian fans’ buses, despite testimonies of scarves with their colors being present.
« According to some testimonies and statements from journalists, some of these troublemakers were wearing the colors and scarves of OM and the South Winners. If that is the case, these individuals have absolutely nothing to do with our group and the values it represents, » the South Winners wrote in a statement released on social media. « Let us remember that the orange color that characterizes our group was not chosen by chance: it is in opposition to any form of discrimination. (…) We cannot tolerate the actions of certain masked individuals being identified as ‘supporters’ belonging to our group and acting on its behalf, it is simply unacceptable and contributes to pure and simple defamation! »
>> Get all the information on the incidents during OM-OL
The South Winners already massively present at the Vélodrome
Present in the South Stand of the Vélodrome before the match, Rachid Zeroual quickly spoke up when the match between OM and OL was canceled. He and many members of the South Winners were preparing the pre-game animations, including the tifo planned for the reception of the Gones.
« The core members were working to make this evening unforgettable, and the capos were giving instructions for the deployment of the tifo and for the respect of all those present, and the chants were already ringing loud, » the South Winners stated in their media release.
They also reminded of their role in the presence of 600 OL fans: « In a desire for appeasement and goodwill to make our previously banned trips possible, and to fully live our passion for OM, we participated with representatives from other Marseille and Lyon groups in a meeting with the prefectures of Bouches-du-Rhône and Rhône that allowed Lyon supporters to come to the Vélodrome again. »
The South Winners condemn the incidents
Being regularly targeted by supporters of other teams themselves, the South Winners firmly condemned the incidents in this duel between OM and OL « with the utmost firmness and without ambiguity. »
Originally scheduled as the final game of the tenth round of Ligue 1, the Olympico was ultimately postponed to a later date following the serious facial injury of Fabio Grosso. The OL coach needed stitches above his left eye, requiring 12 stitches.
Jean-Guy Lebreton Journalist RMC Sport