Lyon coach Bruno Genesio believes his players will not be afraid of possible crowd trouble when they travel to Besiktas for the second leg of their Europa League quarter-final on Thursday.
Both clubs were sanctioned after incidents in the first leg, with the kick-off delayed after Lyon fans sought refuge on the pitch following objects being thrown at them from Besiktas supporters above.
Lyon and Besiktas both face bans from the next UEFA competition for which they qualify if there are repeat offences in the next two years, while the Ligue 1 club experienced more disturbances at the weekend.
Bastia supporters confronted Lyon players during the warm-ups on Sunday and the match was later abandoned after further incidents, but Genesio insisted his team are not worrying about travelling to Turkey for the second leg, with his side leading 2-1.
“It is true that we have put even more emphasis on the psychological aspect considering what we have experienced in recent times,” the Lyon coach told reporters.
“It feels completely safe. Everything has been done to ensure that we have been perfectly supervised since we arrived in Turkey. There is no feeling of fear, just the urge to have a great match tomorrow night.
“I am proud to see their reaction of solidarity in these difficult moments. It should have fed us even more for tomorrow night’s goal. It is certainly one of the most important matches of our season.”
— OL English (@OL_English) April 19, 2017
Genesio’s Besiktas counterpart Senol Gunes hit out at the sanctions laid against his club, suggesting the Turkish side should not have received the same punishment of a €100,000 fine.
“We do not want to see violence,” Gunes said at his pre-match press conference. “I told you in the first game. There will be no provocation for this.
“If there is violence, punishment must be taken and deterred. But if the penalty is unjustly given, its damage will be greater. At this moment UEFA has put a weight on Lyon side, it is on their side of the scale. The timing of the punishment is open to debate.
“I just share my feelings. Provocation is easy. If someone is throwing something, he should be punished.
“Our intention is never to win a match from illegitimate ways. There is a psychological pressure on the game in the sense of being sentenced. I do not want to share my doubts about how this is done.
“The Lyon president [Jean-Michel Aulas] said it was the right decision for both teams. He is a very intelligent man, but we are not naive. The decision for both teams is correct, but we are the third team. We are the third team because UEFA and Lyon both made the same decision.”
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