Lyon apologise for 'anti-semitic' attack on Tottenham fans

Three Spurs fans hospitalised after incident in city centre last night

Lyon have apologised for an apparent anti-Semitic attack which hospitalised three Tottenham fans in the French city last night.

Around 50 masked thugs, some of whom were reportedly making fascist salutes, attacked a group of 150 Spurs fans who had gathered in the Smoking Dog pub in Lyon last night ahead of the Europa League game between the two sides this evening.

Eyewitnesses say the group of attackers smashed doors and threw cast-iron chairs, wooden objects, and a lit flare into the pub, which is popular among ex-pats in the French city.

The French club this afternoon issued a strongly-worded statement, condemning the "inadmissible" actions of the thugs who terrified the visiting fans and caused damage estimated to be worth £3,000.

"Olympique Lyonnais deplore the incidents overnight in the Saint-Jean district between the supporters of Tottenham and the 'pseudo' supporters of Lyon who absolutely do not represent the club," a Lyon statement read.

"Olympique Lyonnais apologises to Tottenham and its supporters, for the inadmissible acts which degrade the image of the town of Lyon.

"Olympique Lyonnais call on the French justice system to impose severe sanctions for these reprehensible acts."

Lyon, who are looking to overcome a 2-1 first-leg deficit in the last 32 tie, urged fans to behave themselves at tonight's second leg, which kicks off at 6pm GMT.

"Olympique Lyonnais will welcome Tottenham supporters this evening at (Stade de) Gerland and calls for all the supporters, those from Lyon and the English fans, to support their team with respect and fair play," the statement continued.

Tottenham confirmed this morning that three fans sustained "minor injuries" in the attack, and that arrests had been made.

It is the second time that Tottenham fans have been targeted by an apparent anti-Semitic attack in the last three months. In November, fans of the club, which has a traditionally strong Jewish following, were ambushed inside a pub in Rome on the eve of their game against Lazio.

Eyewitnesses inside the Smoking Dog said the thugs attacked the bar at 10.18pm on Wednesday night and then returned shortly after to launch another assault on the pub, which had its front five doors smashed.

Far-right thugs were blamed for the knife attack on Tottenham's supporters in Rome and eyewitnesses Liam Kirwan from Harrow claimed the attack could have had an anti-Semitic motive.

"It was neo-Nazi, anti-Semitic," he said.

"I have never seen anything like that before.

"This was premeditated. Three people walked past earlier in the night and saw that the pub was full of Tottenham fans. Then a group of 50 came back to attack, and then 25 did shortly after.

"It's a pretty scary thing when you're confronted by people doing Nazi salutes."

PA

Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk