'Barbarism': Football game postponed after 'chaotic' fans storm club

·3-min read
Marseille fans lighting flares storming the club grounds in anger.
A photo of Marseille fans storming the club grounds in anger. (Image: Twitter)

Marseille have accused their own fans of "barbarism" after angry supporters forced their way into the club's training complex, hours before a Ligue 1 home game against Rennes.

Three hours before kick-off, the league postponed Marseille's evening match at Stade Velodrome - about 13 kilometres from the training ground - deeming it unsafe to hold the game with tensions so evidently high.

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"Marseille condemns the unacceptable attack the club was a victim of inside the Robert-Louis Dreyfus training centre" Marseille said in a statement.

"An unjustifiable frenzy of violence put those present on site in danger (players, staff, security staff, employees). Thefts were carried out and vehicles were damaged."

The club said they had proof against "a few hundred" so-called fans carrying out the acts, adding that official complaints will be lodged "against such barbarism."

Seventh-place Marseille's next home game will fall under close scrutiny since it is against bitter rival Paris Saint-Germain next weekend.

Club slams angry fans

Earlier on Saturday, a video posted by local newspaper La Provence showed a tree burning outside the entrance to La Commanderie, amid reports that fans were throwing flares and trying to force their way in.

Sports daily L'Equipe's website reported that Marseille's players were present at the time, and that defender Alvaro Gonzalez was hit on the back by a projectile when he went to speak with supporters.

The website carried a photo of a tag just by the entrance aimed at unpopular club president Jacques-Henri Eyraud, saying "Eyraud Dehors" (Eyraud Out).

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A banner draped from a bridge and another next to a bicycle rental stand also urged Eyraud to quit, in crude terms.

"Eyraud: You are dirtying our club ... Get Lost!" one banner read.

Eyraud reacted angrily and defended the club.

A man on a scooter looks over at a banner hung by Olympique de Marseille football club fans against the club's president Jacques-Henry Eyraud, that reads in French 'JHE: Marseille vomits you', a few hours before the Ligue 1 match against Rennes in the southern French city of Marseille on January 30, 2021.
A man on a scooter looks over at a banner hung by Olympique de Marseille football club fans against the club's president Jacques-Henry Eyraud, that reads in French 'JHE: Marseille vomits you', a few hours before the Ligue 1 match against Rennes in the southern French city of Marseille on January 30, 2021. (Photo by NICOLAS TUCAT/AFP via Getty Images)

"Three hundred employees are in a state of shock tonight," he said on Marseille's website.

"What happened calls for the strongest severity against these troublemakers who call themselves supporters, but who destroy facilities and threaten employees and players."

The latest trouble comes nine days after fans turned on the players at a home game against Lens, which Marseille lost 1-0.

In a separate incident on Saturday, local newspaper Le Progres showed a video of a group of Saint-Etienne fans interrupting a training session although on this occasion talks were held with players in a calm atmosphere.

In on-field action, Lens won 2-1 at Montpellier to move above Marseille.

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