The Ligue 1 game between Marseille and Rennes at the Stade Velodrome on Saturday was postponed after fans stormed into Marseille’s training ground hours before kickoff in protest against club officials.
French multimedia outlet RMC Sport reported some 150-200 supporters tried to break into the Robert Louis Dreyfus centre. TV pictures showed fans forcing their way in and some were seen throwing flares and lighting firecrackers.
“Given the incidents that occurred this afternoon at the Olympique de Marseille training centre, the Marseille v Stade Rennais Ligue 1 match is postponed,” the French League (LFP) said in a statement.
RMC 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.
The entrance of the training ground was also tagged with messages against Eyraud.
French sports daily L’Equipe said riot police had been deployed to deal with the incident.
Frank Leboeuf shares his thoughts on Marseille fans storming the clubs training ground in protest.
“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.
“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”.
Eyraud was shocked.
“We did not expect to see such a savage horde come in here and destroy everything,” Eyraud told Canal Plus.
“I think we’ve avoided the worst. I saw the CCTV footage and I can tell you that what I saw was scary, very scary. Everybody is shocked.
“Law suits will be filed tomorrow. It is unacceptable. But life must go on, we cannot give these individuals what they want, which is chaos.”
🚨 Les images exclusives du coup de force des supporters marseillais au centre d’entrainement Robert-Louis-Dreyfus. Un arbre a pris feu, 25 personnes ont été interpelées par la police. pic.twitter.com/XIVEalZoRQ
— RMC Sport (@RMCsport) January 30, 2021
Marseille are seventh in the Ligue 1 standings, 16 points adrift of leaders Lyon, 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.