Marseille’s Ligue 1 game with Rennes postponed after angry fans storm the training ground
Saturday night should have witnessed Olympique de Marseille hosting Rennes in Ligue 1, the local team looking to bounce back from recent poor form.
Instead, the match was cast into doubt due to an outburst of anger from Olympians supporters, so much so that authorities had no choice but to postpone the match.
But what exactly happened and what caused this volatile reaction from their fans?
Basically, Marseille is not very good at the moment. That’s all. OM have lost their last four matches in all competitions, including three defeats in Ligue 1 against Monaco, Lens and Nîmes, and a disappointing defeat against Paris Saint-Germain in a fiery Trophee des Champions final.
This unacceptable four-game losing streak saw fans write “Vous Etes Degueulasses” (You Are Disgusting) in huge letters where they usually sit in the stadium, while there was another banner in the ground who said “You Make Us Shame” (You make us ashamed).
They also left photos off the ground insulting club president Jacques-Henri Eyraud. Bad business.
The majority of Marseille fans were preparing for their team’s home game with Rennes on Saturday, hoping to see a reaction to a string of poor results. Well, the majority were. Another significant number decided to take matters into their own hands, marching to the club’s training ground and attempting to enter the complex.
Armed with flares, supporters began to burn trees around the training ground and launch missiles at the players, who were present at the time. Defender Alvaro Gonzalez was hit in the back by a projectile, after demonstrators apparently managed to storm La Commanderie.
Fans have caused hundreds of thousands of euros in damage to their training ground, while stealing and breaking objects inside the premises. These actions meant the game had to be postponed for player safety, and no new date was set for the game to end.
Security will have their work cut out for the next Marseille home game, when they entertain PSG.
Marseille was quick to respond to Saturday’s events, “strongly condemning the unacceptable attack” by supporters, and they have sent all the evidence gathered to investigators, who will attempt to punish those responsible for the damage and danger caused.
“Olympique de Marseille strongly condemns the unacceptable attack suffered by the club in the middle of the afternoon inside the Robert-Louis Dreyfus training center,” a statement said.
“These irresponsible and unacceptable actions must be condemned with the utmost severity. Olympique de Marseille has all the evidence, and this was immediately passed on to investigators. ”
The club were not the only ones to take a stand against the enraged actions of supporters. Captain Steve Mandanda also spoke, admitting that he knew “everything about this club” but was “saddened” by the extent to which fans have protested “such a wave of violence”.
“I know everything about this club, I know the love and the frustration it can generate,” Mandanda said.
“But today’s events sadden me and are unacceptable. We are footballers and a sports crisis can in no way justify such an outbreak of violence. ”