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Jean-Michel Aulas: "This must not happen again"

Published on 22 November 2021 at 6:05 PM
Jean-Michel Aulas : « Cela ne doit plus se reproduire »
OL president Jean-Michel Aulas spoke with journalists Sunday evening following the postponement of the match against OM.

“The decision was taken by Mr. Buquet in the presence of the two captains and the two coaches. We also have the documents which specify exactly the terms of the decision. The players went out to train. These instructions were given and it was immediately reflected in the terms given to us by the supervisor of the match delegates, namely a resumption of the match on condition that there are no other incidents as was explained on the public address system.

The first part of the meeting took place in the security area. I didn't participate at the start. Mr. Buquet was trying to protect the health of the players, which is quite normal. From the start he looked like he was pretty much in favor of abandoning the match, and everyone had a say. The OM delegates were very courteous, there was no ranting like there had been when Valbuena returned to Marseille, with throwing glass bottles. Mr. Buquet was the referee and the police chief ordered the match to be resumed to avoid further incidents. Yesterday evening, there were discussions, and time for reflection. The decision was made far too long after the incident. Mr. Buquet has said OK, we must start again. Everyone then had their say. The captains and coaches were received by Mr. Buquet, his assistants and the two delegates to indicate that there was to be a resumption of play and how it would come about. There were a number of external exchanges as well, because some time later, the supervisor came back to tell us that Mr. Buquet wanted to see the two presidents and the prefect. He said he wanted the game to be suspended, saying he had already made that decision in the first meeting. The prefect was very surprised. I asked him the motives for this change, but got no answer. He had let it be thought that it was his personal belief from the start. You don't have to wait an hour and a half to make the decision. There have been a number of outside interventions. OM players had been seen arriving to his room, including one who banged on the door and shouted. Steve Mandanda was involved in the decision. The manager demanded that the referee see Dimitri Payet before the restart. It helped change the course of the evening.

From the moment there was an incident, the LFP took a decision on principle which obviously dampens our spirits and which penalizes us. This is a measure that we will accept. We are dealing with a serious concern but which concerns an individual who has been arrested and handed over to the courts. Given the sophisticated facilities at OL, we were able to catch the individual in the act. It was not done remotely, and the groups of supporters did not unite here. We have offered to ban him for life, but we don't have the option. We will apply the rules, and follow the instructions. It is up to justice to have its say. Measures must be taken to regain a sense of calm. It will not be necessary to make amends. What happened last night has nothing to do with pitch invasions, or fighting. This is incomparable. I remain in favor of severe penalties, including in terms of points. The Bad Gones completely dissociate themselves from this individual. Taking points away when there is a pitch invasion, or fighting is perfectly legitimate but I'm not sure we deserve to have a point taken away in comparison. We don't want to be the scapegoats for everything. I can't imagine that we won't replay this match. The match between Nice and OM was replayed on neutral ground.

We have a certain number of nets, we can put them up. During the first interruption, Mr. Buquet asked us to set up four shields in front of the corner flags. There were no other projectiles thrown except this bottle and some paper.

I am completely in solidarity with Vincent Labrune. I will be in the League Offices tomorrow with Vincent and Pablo Longoria. No worries. If we have to make a big decision, we have to do it for the sake of everyone. This must not happen again.

This is a risk that exists at a number of clubs. We must educate supporters groups to find the right solutions. There can be no compromises at OL. We file a complaint for each incident. If justice wants to make an example of him, it can do so with a lifetime ban."

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