Lyon threaten to sue fans over images depicting coach and president as clowns

By Sports Desk February 26, 2020

Lyon have taken the drastic action to threaten their own supporters with legal action after the emergence of a social media fad that has seen coach Rudi Garcia and – to a lesser extent president Jean-Michel Aulas – depicted as clowns.

Some fans have hijacked the replies to tweets posted by Lyon's official Twitter account this week, responded to any post with doctored images predominantly of Garcia as a clown.

The backlash came in response to the club's official Twitter account blocking a vocal fan who had initially created and posted the meme as a sign of frustration.

Lyon are now taking a hard-line approach to the phenomenon, though even the tweet used to announce possible legal proceedings against those involved was inundated with clown-related responses.

A club statement read: "Olympique Lyonnais (OL) announces that the club will now file legal complaints for all content, posted or shared on its social networks, which may constitute abuse, defamation, threat, harassment or incitement to hate or violence.

"It is our duty to mobilise to fight against instances of discrimination and hate, online and on the field. OL will manage its responsibilities in this sense."

Lyon, who sit seventh in Ligue 1 after an underwhelming season, host Juventus in the Champions League last 16 on Wednesday.

Related items

  • Bayer Leverkusen sign Lennart Grill Bayer Leverkusen sign Lennart Grill

    Bayer Leverkusen have signed Kaiserslautern goalkeeper Lennart Grill, the Bundesliga club announced on Wednesday.

    Germany Under-21 international Grill will swap third-tier German outfit Kaiserslautern for Leverkusen for the 2020-21 season.

    Grill – whose deal with Leverkusen is until June 2024 – played in every game for Kaiserslautern prior to the postponement of football due to the coronavirus pandemic.

    "A big step forward to a top German team. I've watched a lot of Bayer 04 games up to the season being suspended. As a spectator, it was great fun watching their high tempo, possession football," the 21-year-old said.

    "Bayer 04 Leverkusen are a club with European ambition and I'm happy to soon be part of it."

    Leverkusen sporting director Simon Rolfes said: "We've been able to sign a very interesting and highly talented goalkeeper in Lennart Grill.

    "It's a long-term signing and Lennart has great prospects. We are very happy we’ve been able to persuade him to join us."

  • Messi to Inter? Of course Nerazzurri can sign Barca star – Cauet Messi to Inter? Of course Nerazzurri can sign Barca star – Cauet

    Former Inter midfielder Benoit Cauet insisted the Nerazzurri can sign Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi.

    Messi has been linked to Inter since ex-president Massimo Moratti said the six-time Ballon d'Or winner joining the Serie A club was not a "forbidden dream".

    Barca captain Messi is contracted to the LaLiga champions until 2021 but his future is far from certain at Camp Nou, where he has clashed with board members this season.

    "Of course Inter can sign Lionel Messi, there are no doubts that they could," Cauet, who won the UEFA Super Cup with Inter in 1997-98, said in an Instagram Live interview.

    "President Steven Zhang has the financial capabilities and the potential ambition. He is a president who thinks big."

    Messi – who moved to Barca from boyhood club Newell's Old Boys in 2001 – had scored 24 goals across all competitions before the 2019-20 season was postponed due to coronavirus.

    The 32-year-old attacker tops the LaLiga scoring charts with 19 goals through 27 rounds.

  • Coronavirus: Sampdoria president says Serie A season 'must end here' Coronavirus: Sampdoria president says Serie A season 'must end here'

    Sampdoria president Massimo Ferrero said the Serie A season "must end here" as it would be pointless to restart the league without fans amid the coronavirus pandemic.

    Serie A was suspended indefinitely last month due to the spread of COVID-19, and authorities have insisted they will not even consider resuming action until it is safe to do so.

    It remains to be seen if and when the 2019-20 campaign returns but matches behind closed doors are almost a certainty in Italy, where more than 17,600 people have died from coronavirus.

    "Let's organise ourselves to say that this championship must end here and now," Ferrero told Telenord.

    "I say it with a heavy heart, because I do want to resume, but only when I can see our beautiful stadium with fans beating their drums.

    "I saw Sampdoria-Verona behind closed doors and it hurt my soul to see it played in silence. How can you celebrate a result in that desolate landscape?

    "Why bother playing a game without fans, the colours all around, the noise and cheering, this is football, this is entertainment and 90 minutes of pure adrenaline. A game without fans, what even is it?"

    The last Serie A game before the league's postponement was on March 9 – Sassuolo defeated Brescia 3-0.

    Sampdoria were 16th and only a point above the relegation zone after 25 games when the Serie A came to a halt last month.

© 2020 SportsMaxTV All Rights Reserved.