By Aline Chatel
Published on 6 Apr 21 at 18:02
Two days after President Macron’s speech announcing a third confinement, sports associations in France were reassured: they would be able to continue to practice sport outdoors, following the strict protocol already in force for many months. However, since this decree, several clubs have chosen to suspend their activity.
On the former Lower Normandy territory, FC Saint-Lô Manche was one of the first to decide to suspend training in all categories of the club. “While schools and businesses are closing again, it does not seem consistent to continue as if our football club could not be a place of transmission of the virus,” said President Thibault Deslandes on Facebook. A little later, several clubs imitated him. Despite the government authorization, part of the football world preferred to give up for at least three weeks.
A choice based on three key arguments
This is particularly the case with ASPTT Caen and USON Mondeville. The leaders of the two clubs generally advance the same explanations to justify this strong decision. “We mainly rely on three reasons, explains Laurent Dufour, manager of the Postmen. First, there are tired of doing contactless. Second, we have kids who live more than 10 kilometers away, but it is no longer possible for them to come in accordance with the rules imposed by this new confinement. Third, we want to get out of this crisis. “
” Wiser “
In Mondeville, the initial idea was to move towards a hybrid formula with training this Wednesday April 7, 2021 and a total cut during the holidays. “Finally, we wondered if it was useful to take additional risks, indicates Laurent Glaize, the general manager of the club. Personally, my wife works in a pharmacy and has seen the boom in positive cases. If the children do not go to school, to the canteen, to extracurriculars, why would they continue to go to football? It seemed wiser to us to suspend our activity. ”
“We are not going to be more royalist than the king”, adds Laurent Dufour. For the PTT coach, the decision also reveals “a real weariness”. Since November 2020, footballers of all ages and levels (except the pros) train in theory without contact. In fact, many clubs have come to terms with the texts. “We were not outlawed but we were not respectful of the law, recognizes Laurent Dufour. We were in between. It was DIY. Today we must stop. We no longer want to tinker. It is not reasonable to operate like this. “
The City calls for “increased vigilance”
The rules are the same, except for the 10 km to be respected, but the spirit is somewhat different. “Respect for the text is even more important,” emphasizes Aristide Olivier, Deputy Mayor for Sports at the City of Caen. We have asked the associations for increased vigilance on all barrier gestures. Certain largesse had been observed. ”
Continue, “a social and mental issue”
These largesse, the Maladrerie was offended after the publication of our article on this subject. The Caen club have decided to keep their training. “It is a valve for some so as long as it is possible, we must continue, believes President Thierry Deslandes. It is a social and mental issue, in addition to being sporty in its health aspect. I think the players need it, even if it’s not the blast. “Like AF Virois, the MOS also highlights the fact that, to its knowledge,” no one has contracted the Covid during a session at the club “.
Whatever the positions, the suffering of amateur football is very real. It gives rise to fears at all levels of a sharp drop in the number of licensees. Between 2019-2020 and 2020-2021, the Normandy Football League has already lost 11% of licensees.