Ligue 1 Match Postponed After Angry Ultras Storm Marseille’s Training Grounds Beforehand
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PARIS — The Ligue 1 game between Olympique de Marseille and Stade Rennais at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday was postponed after fans stormed into Marseille's training ground hours before kickoff.
"A few hundred individuals from the ultra fan groups broke into the Commanderie's training centre by force and with violence," Marseille said in a statement.
TV pictures showed fans forcing their way in and some were seen throwing flares and lighting firecrackers.
A group of Marseille fans stormed into their training ground today after growing frustrated at the club’s president and recent results
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) January 30, 2021
"It was an unjustifiable outbreak of violence that put the lives of the persons present - staff and players - in danger," the club added, saying the damage amounted to "several hundred thousand euros".
The French League (LFP) said in a statement that the game had been postponed "given the incidents that occurred this afternoon at the Olympique de Marseille training centre."
OM : Le match OM-Rennes prévu ce soir à 21h est reporté. Un joueur a été agressé, des policiers blessés, la valise de l'entraîneur André Villas-Boas balancée et le bus caillassé (RTL / L'Équipe / BFMTV). pic.twitter.com/3g5w6fSJbU— Infos Françaises (@InfosFrancaises) January 30, 2021
RMC Sport published footage of fans marching in the streets and carrying banners reading "(Club) directors, out", and others directly targeting OM president Jacques-Henri Eyraud. It later reported the situation had calmed down, without elaborating.
French sports daily L'Equipe said riot police had been deployed to deal with the incident.
[Official Statement] Olympique de Marseille strongly condemns the unacceptable attack of which the club was the victim.— Olympique de Marseille (@OM_English) January 30, 2021
Marseille are seventh in the Ligue 1 standings, 14 points adrift of leaders Olympique Lyonnais, with coach Andre Villas Boas hinting he will leave the club when his contract expires in June.
OM were knocked out in this season's Champions League group stage.
Promoted RC Lens moved up to sixth on 34 points after claiming a 2-1 win at 11th-placed Montpellier.
On Sunday, second-placed Paris St Germain travel to Lorient and third-placed Lille host Dijon.
(Reporting by Julien Pretot; Editing by Pritha Sarkar, Ed Osmond and Toby Davis)