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Fantasy Preview: Week 13

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Feb 21, 2013

Lyon condemn attack on Spurs fans

Lyon have issued a statement condemning the actions of the supporters who attacked Tottenham fans in the French town and called on the authorities to impose "severe sanctions".

Around 150 Spurs fans, in Lyon ahead of the Europa League clash at the Stade Gerland on Thursday night, were the subject of an apparent anti-Semitic attack on Wednesday night.

An estimated 50 masked thugs laid siege to the Smoking Dog pub using iron chairs, wooden objects and a flare, leading to three Spurs fans requiring hospital treatment.

The statement read: "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.

"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, looking to overturn a 2-1 defeat at White Hart Lane in the first leg, also called on fans of both teams to show "respect and fair play" during the match.

The thugs are thought to have caused around £3,000 in damage to the pub across two separate attacks on the night, and landlord Dave Eales was angry that protective measures were not put in place.

He said: "The most disappointing thing is that I spoke to the police a couple of days ago about the potential for trouble because of what people associate Tottenham being. There will be a big presence on the match day, but (on Wednesday) it didn't happen."

Liam Kirwan, an eyewitness, believes the Spurs fans were targeted due to their Jewish fanbase.

"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."

Kirwan, who moved to Lyon seven years ago, added: "Last night a metal object weighing about 20 kilograms came through the window and smashed an entire metal bar stool to pieces.

"If that had hit someone on the head they would have been killed stone dead. One Tottenham fan was hit with a flying object, another was trampled on, and a third was dragged out and attacked by the skinheads before we managed to pull him back in to safety.

"The fear was clear to see on everyone's faces afterwards. There were elderly couples sat on the floor shocked. There was blood on the walls."

Tottenham fans were also targeted during a Europa League game at Lazio in November last year, with one, named Ashley Mills, the subject of a knife attack.

Kirwan continued: "A lot of fans were here that were in Rome too. They have made it clear that they will not be travelling to any more Tottenham away games in Europe again, ever. I will think twice about travelling with Spurs to European games.

"If this doesn't stop now it's only going to escalate. The fans in England will have seen what's happened through the media and they might think it's not going to get any better."

Information from the Press Association was used in this report