Explained: Why Lyon fans are banning players from wearing green buttons

It seems that Olympique Lyonnais will be among the teams that will try to compete with PSG for the title in France. Peter Bosch’s team is three points behind the people of Sofia, but also has a game in hand.

Despite the good form at the beginning of the season – three wins and one draw in the first four games, the fans of the “kids” found something to complain about, namely the color of the buttons that some footballers play with.

Several of the first team representatives chose the new adidas X Speedportal for the new campaign. The model has been worn by Malo Gusto, Antoni Lopes, Usem Awar and Karl Toko-Ekambi. But why don’t supporters like the buttons?

It’s all because of the green color, because it’s the color of Lyon’s great enemy – Saint-Etienne.

A huge banner with a scrawled green button and the words “Respect Traditions” was also unfurled at Auxerre’s 2-1 home win on Wednesday night.

At the end of last season, Saint-Etienne were relegated, but that doesn’t matter at all to the fans. For them, green is the color of the enemy and there is no place for the “Group”.

Lyon vs Saint Etienne is probably the biggest local derby in France.

The two cities are located about 50 km from each other. Cities are also divided on another basis. By tradition, Lyon is a white-collar city – people who work in offices, while Saint-Etienne is more of a working-class city – people who earn their living by manual labor.

Their rivalry is also enhanced by the fact that these are two of the most successful clubs in France, overall. Saint-Etienne still shares first place with PSG in terms of titles – ten each.

Meanwhile, the years at the beginning of the new century were “golden” for the “kids”. Between 2002 and 2008, Lyon won seven titles in a row, also making some serious forays into the Champions League, topped off with a couple of wins over Real Madrid. To this day, however, these remain the only championship medals for the club.

So it’s no surprise that fans hate the color green. And such a situation is not the first time in Lyon. Years ago, Bernard Lacombe shaved Sidney Gauvo for green buds. The same thing happened to Bafetembi Gomis, who was reprimanded directly by President Jean-Michel Aulas in 2011. The interesting thing about Gomis was that he was a product of Saint Etienne’s academy.


So far, the fans’ protest has not had much effect. Green shoes continue to “walk” on the field while the banner continues to hang at home games.

Right back Malo Gostu even jokingly asked adidas to provide him with white, blue and red buttons – the colors of Lyon. So far, there is no prospect of that happening.

So far the results in Lyon are good and the situation with the green buttons is not dangerous. But if the form of the team deteriorates, the fans of the “kids” do not need much to “fire” and turn against their own.


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