Ligue 1: the president of OM denounces a problem of equity because of postponements

It’s a season unlike any other. In the first third of the season, clubs are accumulating late matches that could not be played due to positive Covid-19 cases. No one knows yet when these postponed fixtures can take place due to a very tight schedule. Some scheduled for October may not be able to argue until March, April or May.

On the occasion of the Board of Directors of the Professional Football League (LFP) held this Thursday, the president of Olympique de Marseille, Jacques-Henri Eyraud expressed his concern. “Olympique de Marseille has suffered three deprogramming of its Ligue 1 matches since the start of the season (Editor’s note: including the latest, OM – Nice ) due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Indeed, several of our opponents have unfortunately seen more than ten of their players being affected by the virus, ”said the Marseille boss in a statement published on the club’s website.

“An exceptional situation in the history of Ligue 1”

He continues: “At the end of this (next) day of the championship, OM will be two games behind their competitors for several weeks, an exceptional situation in the history of Ligue 1. Until the board of directors As of this morning, the organization dates for these late matches were not known. One thing is certain: these meetings cannot be played during the first part of the season given an overloaded schedule. “

For Jacques-Henri Eyraud, the situation is worrying. “Therefore, OM will play for several months with a deficit of two games late, which raises an obvious issue of fairness in sports competition, he considers. This situation creates a direct prejudice against us and the club has tried to propose solutions to both erase the effects, but also and above all meet the needs of broadcasters. Indeed, deprogramming one or more matches involving teams with a larger audience is a very problematic handicap for broadcasters. “

“Reforming the principle of deprogramming”

The president of OM, who seems worried, continues: “Thus, OM proposed to Lens to play their late match against us this Saturday, so that OM is broadcast on the prime time slot. scheduled to host these posters. The Lens club did not wish to accept this solution. This situation is totally dysfunctional and shows once again the need to thoroughly rethink our formats, our regulations and the attractiveness of French football. “

The latter proposes two solutions at the end of his remarks: “The current situation raises two imperatives: First of all, that of reforming the principle of deprogramming. In a strong sports league, no club, including Olympique de Marseille, should be able to oppose a solution favoring the general interest of French football. And the general interest is, in this specific case, to meet the needs of the broadcasters, the financiers of our economy, as recent news painfully demonstrates. During European competitions, UEFA requires the clubs to have a list of 13 players who are able to take part in matches and if it is impossible to play, the match is lost on the green carpet. Then, that of working on a new competition format that is more competitive and meets the needs of broadcasters… The competitiveness and attractiveness of French football are at stake. “

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