This season has not been a good one for Tottenham Hotspur fans traveling abroad. First there violence in Rome prior to the Lazio fixture and now 3 fans have been injured in a similar attack in Lyon.
Three Tottenham Hotspur fans, one with a head injury, are believed to have been taken to a hospial in France after masked thugs attacked a bar the night before Spurs' Europa League match in Lyon. According to one witness, around 200 fans had gathered in the Smoking Dog pub, a popular place among English ex-pats, when they were attacked by an estimated 50 men wearing balaclavas who smashed the windows and battered down the door.
Spurs supporters were also targeted before the 0-0 draw with Lazio back in November. During that incident one fan was stabbed and taken to the hospital. The attack in Rome was believed to have an anti-semitic motive. Witnesses claim the attack Wednesday may also have been anti-semitic in nature.
"It's a pretty scary thing when you're confronted by people doing Nazi salutes. "A lit flare was thrown through the window as well as the heavy weight, the kind that's used on terraces to hold down umbrellas. "It was terrifying. I've never seen anything like it. They threw iron stools through the windows as well."
Via The World Game
The owner of the pub, told reporters that he had been warned seveal weeks ago that an attack was being planned by local gangs.
"I warned the police on Saturday this might happen. I'm 90 per cent sure it's the far right. They sent scouts around at about 7pm to check it out," he said. The attack was launched three hours later.
Via The Guardian
One Spurs fan who was on hand tweeted some images from the scene:
Lyon smoking dog pub twitter.com/Sarah_THFC/sta…— Sarah (@Sarah_THFC) February 20, 2013
It's really horrendous that these things continue to happen, not just to Spurs fans, but to football fans in general. I don't know enough about the city of Lyon or the football club to say whether or not this a common thing or if this is an aberration. Regardless, the attack is utterly sickening. It's getting to the point where Tottenham fans traveling in Europe have to fear for their safety and that is totally unacceptable. Unfortunately, I don't know what can be done. UEFA punished Lazio for racist chants, not for their fans assaulting Spurs supporters. Lyon likely won't receive any punishment from this event either.
My only hope is that the match on Thursday goes off without a hitch. I hope that all the fans, Tottenham and Lyon alike, comport themselves well, and there are no further incidents. We here at Cartilage Free Captain also wish those injured in the attack a speedy recovery.