Mensah abuse angers Lyon
Lyon have spoken of their outrage at the racist abuse suffered by John Mensah against Le Havre on Sunday.
By Patrick Haond
Last Updated: 16/02/09 12:04pm
Lyon have spoken of the outrage at the racist abuse suffered by John Mensah against Le Havre on Sunday.
The Ghanaian defender came under attack from travelling supporters during the Ligue 1 leaders' 3-1 win at Stade Gerland.
The centre-half was targeted during the pre-match warm-up and throughout the first-half.
Obviously rattled by the actions of a minority, Mensah asked for permission to leave the ground at half-time.
However, Lyon coach Claude Puel advised him to remain on the field, only to then see frustration get the better of the African ace as he got himself sent off after 70 minutes.
"From the warm-up some Le Havre fans sent racist abuse towards some of our players. It then went on during the match," said Lyon chairman Jean-Michel Aulas.
"We saw John having some psychological difficulties and then he was sent off. That is why I left the stands to go and talk with him.
"He has been put in a terrible situation. I can understand his actions and he has our full support.
"The racist problem is everywhere. Last week at Nice, Karim Benzema has been abused. On Wednesday in Marseille, we could hear insults.
"I have talked with the fans. What more can I do?"
Puel admitted after the game that he felt partially responsible for Mensah's dismissal.
"I was unsure whether to play John again after half-time," he said. "But I told him to forget it. I was convinced it was the right thing to do.
"I was wrong. It is my fault that he cracked up in the second half."