The ax had fallen on April 28 through the voice of Prime Minister Édouard Philippe: the 2019-2020 season of professional sports ended prematurely, due to the epidemic of new coronavirus. French football thus acted on April 30 the final stop of the Ligue 1 season. A decision contested by several club leaders. And some politicians also demand explanations from the government. As reported The Parisian, two parliamentarians, the senator of Isère Michel Savin (affiliated to the Republicans and also president of the group “Sports practices and Major sporting events” of the Palace of Luxembourg) as well as the senator of the Bas-Rhin Claude Kern (UDI), wrote a letter to the Minister of Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, asking her to be accountable.
“In view of the information available and the evolution of the health situation, other recovery plans could have been imagined,” say the two senators. “Also, we would have liked to know, Madam Minister, the reasons which pushed the government to make this choice of total stop of the competitions? Why did you make a decision so quickly and without any exchange in this sense having taken place with the actors concerned? Why, as did other European countries having major football championships, not to have waited to know the evolution of the health situation at the end of May? “
Read also When the coronavirus changes the rules of football
If the two elected officials admit that the situation encouraged “caution” and required “rapid decision-making”, they regret an arbitration “fraught with long-term consequences”, which “risks further weakening the place of the French football on the European scene and thus make it more vulnerable to competition from the big neighboring championships. “
“A significant economic impact for the entire football ecosystem”
While football has resumed its rights in part of Europe in recent days, notably in Germany, the French football has remained in the locker room “prematurely”, according to UEFA President Aleksander Ceferin. “My personal opinion is that you canceled the season so early … It is not ideal, because things can improve a lot and everyone can play, except a few championships,” he said on May 15. in an interview with BeIN Sports. Jean-Michel Aulas, president of Olympique Lyonnais, has repeatedly alerted parliamentarians to an “announced economic disaster” – he sent them a third letter on Sunday, May 17, as reported Progress. For Senators Michel Savin and Claude Kern, the observation is the same.
Read also Football: “German thought has shifted to accepting risk”
“The stakes are multiple, in particular economic with a loss estimated at more than 700 million euros, but this decision causes today the incomprehension of a part of the actors, all the more since several European countries have done or risk to make radically different choices, “say the two elected officials in their letter, revealed by The Parisian. “Furthermore, the decision to stop the championship entirely will have a significant economic impact on the entire football ecosystem, both professional and amateur. “