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The American businessman Frank McCourt, owner of the Olympique de Marseille, denounced on Sunday the actions of “small groups of thugs” after the incidents on Saturday at the Commanderie, the club’s training center.
The owner of Olympique de Marseille, the American Frank McCourt, denounced on Sunday the actions of “small groups of thugs” after the incidents on Saturday at the club’s training center while reaffirming “commitment for OM and the Marseillais “. He drew a parallel between this demonstration and the assault that occurred at the end of January on Capitol Hill in Washington, during the end of the mandate of US President Donald Trump.
“What happened a few weeks ago in Washington DC and what happened yesterday in Marseille follow a similar logic: a few sources are fueling a blaze of opinions, invective and threats which are amplified by social networks, creating the conditions that lead to violence and chaos, “said Frank McCourt in a statement released by OM.
Official press release
Statement by Frank H. McCourt on the very serious incidents at the Olympique de Marseille training center at La Commanderie.
– Olympique de Marseille (@OM_Officiel) January 31, 2021
“OM supporters love their club and it is therefore impossible for me to recognize this status for these small groups of thugs,” wrote the owner of OM.
“We will work in close consultation with all authorities to ensure that those found responsible for these scandalous acts of violence are brought to justice,” he added.
Eighteen people in custody
On Saturday afternoon, some 300 OM supporters gathered in front of the gates of the Commanderie training center with a “Cassez-vous” banner and “Leaders, resignation” flags to show their dissatisfaction with the latest results of their team. They threw dozens of firecrackers, fireworks and smoke bombs before some of them managed to enter the building. As of Sunday morning, 18 people were still in custody.
“Thefts were carried out and vehicles were damaged. Five trees were burned with the sole desire to destroy. The damage inside the buildings amounted to several hundred thousand euros,” described the OM Saturday night in a statement.
“With President Jacques-Henri Eyraud, we are carrying out a policy of cleaning up and rehabilitating the club. This surge of violence leads me more than ever to reaffirm my will and my commitment for OM and the Marseillais”, has t -he adds. “We are builders. With the whole team and its president, OM will continue their journey,” concludes Frank McCourt in his own press release.
The seriousness of the facts prompted OM to request the postponement of the match scheduled for 9 p.m. against Rennes. The request was accepted by the LFP, which simply announced that the game would be played “at a later date”.
“It was not possible to maintain a match in these conditions, nor for that matter to postpone it to Sunday”, explained on Canal + Arnaud Rouger, general manager of the LFP. He also assured that OM did not risk sporting sanctions.