Homophobic aggression in Pescara. A 25-year-old from Molise ended up in hospital with a broken jaw after being beaten up by a group of six or seven boys. The incident occurred on the night between Thursday and Friday, on the seafront, in the center of the Adriatic capital. Just in those days the regional Pride Week was held in Pescara, which ended yesterday. The young man, reports the newspaper ‘il Centro’, who interviewed the victim, had arrived in Pescara to visit his partner, a 22-year-old from the place. The couple, around half past midnight, was on the waterfront, near the Nave di Cascella, when he met a group of six or seven very young people, including a girl. First the homophobic insults, then the offenses went to the facts and the 25 year old was hit in the face with a punch. Some passersby tried to defend the two boyfriends and a scuffle arose.
When the alarm was raised, the Carabinieri arrived on the scene, but the attackers had already disappeared. The 25-year-old, who ended up in hospital, underwent surgery. The prognosis is 30 days. The Carabinieri of the Compagnia di Pescara are in charge of the investigation, they are acquiring the videos recorded by the surveillance cameras. According to the first investigations, the place where the scuffle took place would not be covered by the cameras, which, however, are present in the area where the insults started. Work is therefore being done to identify those responsible, who may even be minors.
“They certainly don’t lose them, they pity me,” says the 25-year-old about his attackers.
For several weeks, Djibril Cissé crying loudly and his desire to make his return in Ligue 1, in order to cross the symbolic milestone of 100 goals among the elite. With an a-counter is currently stuck at 96 achievements, the former striker of the OM intends to meet one last challenge, he has multiplied the calls of the foot with the clubs of League 1 as Nîmes and Dijon, for example.
This Thursday, in the columns of The Team, Olivier Delcourt the president of Dijon, has cut short the possible arrival of Cissé in Côte-d’or : “This is pure joke. I admired him as a player, but I have not had the phone. Perhaps was it the call of the foot to Peguy (Luyindula, the sports director of the DFCO), to which he is close”. Recently, it is whispered that Cissé could take the path of Cyprus, failure to return to League 1.
The decision fell on Tuesday: on order of the police headquarters, the return match of the knockout stages of the Champions League between Paris-SG and Borussia Dortmund (2-1 for the Germans to go) will be disputed in camera closed. The Ruhr club having received in front of its public to go, sports fairness is flouted and it does not matter in the light of the hundreds of dead, the eighth world power under quarantine or the fear that rises everywhere. However, we will play football on Wednesday at the Parc des princes and it is not nothing: the futility of the favorite game of men is not a luxury in such a frightening context.
It’s even something to savor: Italy is no longer there. The camera: no sharing or common momentum, something of the mystic of the player integrated into the city that floats in the air on match nights completely passed out. More prosaically, the circumstances will cost the Paris club some 5 million euros in “match day” revenue. But it’s still football, reduced to its nuclear heart: 22 players at the same time on a lawn, a ball and a referee. The TV microphones will pick up words from the field like behind a handrail: “Leave”, “I have”, “squeeze” or “closed”, and it is not forbidden to think that the imagination of viewers will bring back some memories, the noise of crampons slamming on the tiles and the door which is closed on a cloakroom stained with dirt and a forgotten towel.
Football has many faces: it also has that one. During their formative years, the players did not always perform in front of an audience. Since then, some have learned to feed on it, others to ignore it, still others to imagine a loved one (sometimes disappeared) somewhere in the gallery: the absence of decorum, often used as an external stimulus, will suggest to them an original idea of the game, the space of the match as a closed world belonging to them completely. Of course it is not: the weight of a club-state for Parisians, that of a career on the rise for the 19-year-old star attacker of Borussia Dortmund Erling Haaland, and the sporting ambition well understood for players on both sides. However, the decor will suggest sweaters rolled into balls as posts. We confess to be curious to know how they will manage.
If the peculiarity of the big clubs is to always be there, no doubt: the Paris-SG is one of them. Two hours after the defeat (1-2) of the team coached by Thomas Tuchel in Dortmund, in the round of 16 first leg of the Champions League, the brother of a Presnel Kimpembé aligned for the first time of the season in a defense to three central, which did not make a hit on Wednesday, attacked the German coach on Instagram in unambiguous words: “Go fuck your mother, son of a bitch!” Thereafter, we distinctly hear the word “joke” dropped twice by the same, as if to diminish the scope of the message. Finally, it happened anyway.
The Parisian environment rocked somewhat into chaos after the game. According to what we wrote before the match, Neymar was perfectly able to play since February 7, the date of his return to training after a “Chondrocostal lesion” (the Parisian club is scrupulously cited) received six days earlier against the Montpellier Hérault in Paris. The fact that he did not play a minute before Dortmund was therefore a somewhat superstitious political choice (Neymar had missed all or part of the last two knockout stages of Paris-SG, meeting sanctioned by elimination ) and, in the general opinion and especially of his, the Brazilian was not in condition Tuesday, slow, at the wrong time. “It’s hard to stay four games without playing, found the player. Unfortunately, it was not my choice, it was something of the club, the doctors, they were the ones who made the decision and I didn’t like it. We had a lot of discussions on this. I wanted to play. I felt good but the club was afraid. And I’m the one who suffers in the end. “ A little corporate speech but it must be understood that at this point, since it was he who dragged himself before the cameras on the ground, he does not care.
Useless to put the decision on the back of Tuchel, that Neymar carefully avoids to quote: the German made understand on almost all the tones that he would have liked to align it in Lyon (on February 9) or in Dijon in the Cup (February 12), or even in Amiens on Saturday, to gradually re-athletize his striker. So you have to look at the side of the “club” (sports director Leonardo, who must speak urgently on this) or “doctors”. Last but not least, while Neymar lit the match in the mixed zone, the Belgian defender Thomas Meunier explained to his compatriots the last hour that he had not been made aware of the fact that a yellow card in Dortmund would prevent him from returning, which did not fail to happen. A slightly light approach from the technical staff and a huge rock in Tuchel’s garden, even if the player could have asked himself the question.
In short: a low-noise crisis, all the more pointless since the result of the first leg leaves the door open to a qualification after the return match on March 11. There remains the impression left by a slightly intense, strangely worn Paris-SG. And overtaken by a form of inhibition to say the least. “We lack a little confidence, I have the same impression as you [les journalistes], conceded Tuchel. We played today with too much fear of making a mistake. It’s not good, we have to think about finding solutions. If you think too much about not making mistakes, you make too many mistakes. We lost our confidence with too easy balloons. I do not know why.” His predecessor, Unai Emery, can probably help him a bit: it’s been the same story since 2017.
It’s not just Dortmund-Paris-SG in life: a real entry into the competition for European behemoths – Paris-SG but also Barcelona, Real Madrid, English clubs – in the queen competition, the round of 16 the Champions League mark the gateway to matches of a stratospheric level, rich in adventures and reversals of situations. Overview of the other games of the week.
Atlético Madrid – Liverpool FC (Tuesday, 9 p.m.)
It would be nice if Atlético Madrid won because … Atlético Madrid is stuck in the simplest cliché: a team complicated to face and anti-good game in its most elaborate version. Namely, love-killing and pragmatism flirting with the accordion bus technique – defense first. The sworn enemy of football and gourmet mirettes. Diego Simeone, Madrid’s coach, single-handedly recounts the slide into this dark box. Five or six years ago, the Argentinian, who arrived on the Madrid bench in 2011, was still the genius of Europe. The one who turned lambs into wolves. Who made his players run 90 minutes, which gave the impression of being able to investigate 180 without problem and if necessary, 270 – with a smile to their ears. There, he is portrayed as good without more and disbelieving: if we trust the ambient rumor, he is the exact opposite of the religion of the moment, Liverpool, the model – his players also ride, but better.
The scenario would like that the Simeone cycle, coach as smooth as brilliant, who spent a life of player to be vomited before the games to maintain his grinta, ends as the stereotype adores: an exit in eighth and an end of championship d ‘Spain (Atlético is at the foot of the podium) is struggling. Then a resignation or a dismissal. Then a debate on a talk show to imply that the guy and his philosophy are dead and buried. May the picture go to hell! The Matelassiers disrupted and broke the alternation (Barça and Real Madrid) so exhausting in Spain (a title in 2014) and failed to sit on the roof of Europe twice (2014 and 2016). The Atlético has ten years of sabotage of big, medium and small clubs in the legs. We are right in what makes this striped jersey team dangerous: the habit of big battles, patience and mischief.
Except that Liverpool will qualify because … The club of Mohamed Salah and Sadio Mané is European champion. The mojo is lost, it’s true. But rarely in eighthfinal.
Read also Champions League: at PSG, the cross and the barriers
Atalanta Bergamo – FC Valencia (Wednesday, 9 p.m.)
It would be nice if Bergamo won because … Ephemeral coach of Inter Milan in 2011 (five competitive games, four defeats), Gian Piero Gasperini is the man of a revolution in Italy since 2013 that he coaches Atalanta Bergamo: it matters what the Transalpine call with a touch of distrust the “continental game”, that is to say a different rhythm, superior to the ordinary of Calcio. This is the story of the biggest dwarf in the world (a normal type, therefore) of the Monthy Pythons: Luis Muriel and others do not play at the supersonic speed of a Liverpool or a Manchester City, but on a scale Italian, Bergamo is a textbook case, which earned Gasperini to be elected best coach of Calcio at the end of the 2018-2019 season. Who says rhythm says risk-taking, loss of balls, defenders having to manage in one against one against opposing attackers: in the realm of placed play and defensive systems belts and suspenders, it is not nothing.
Except that Valencia will qualify because … The force of habit, the superior technical skill (Rodrigo, Daniel Parejo), this hardness in the effort that inhabits the top Spanish player – Valencia is 6e de Liga – and a slow rise that saw them destroy FC Barcelona (2-0) three weeks ago, playing three times faster than the Catalans that day. The wind blew at the start of the season when the Singaporean owner dismissed coach Marcelino Garcia Toral, fresh winner of the King’s Cup, for sporting differences: he had the full support of both players and supporters. Former international player who passed through Bordeaux and coach in the Spanish youth teams (-16 years old, -17, Hopes), Albert Celades took the time to slip into his shoes and things got back to normal, with victories at Chelsea or Amsterdam during the round of pool. It’s as if the deep quality of the team speaks no matter who the coach is.
Tottenham Hotspur – RB Leipzig (Wednesday, 9 p.m.)
It would be nice if Leipzig wins because … Leipzig coach Julian Nagelsmann is both a fool and a symbol. Bad because his teams attack like beatniks, in flip flops, in all weathers and on all terrains, whatever the balance of power, and too bad if striker Timo Werner (supposedly the star) is what the English commonly called a “rabbit killer”, unable to score against strong teams. A symbol because German football has the wind in its back, embodying a kind of daring modernity that flourished until Paris-SG (Thomas Tuchel, ex from Dortmund) and Liverpool (Jürgen Klopp, ex from Dortmund too). This winter, Nagelsmann admitted to having been approached by Real Madrid… two years ago. To succeed Zinedine Zidane. At 32 years old. It’s very simple: at its best (or worst), Leipzig seems to be playing to play, forgetting to make it happen on the scoreboard as if by distraction. “It’s starting to be enough”, thundered Nagelsmann after a 2-2 victory in Lyon in December when his team should have won 5-0. In the meantime: it’s funny.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Portuguese coach José Mourinho before the match against Aston Villa in Birmingham on February 16. Photo Justin Tallis. AFP
Except that Tottenham will qualify because … The last finalists in the Champions League are indestructible and there is a vague feeling that they did not finish their work, which consisted last spring of leaving the formations (Ajax, Manchester City) much better armed. Hugo Lloris is back for these knockout stages, it’s good and it’s time to remember that the captain of the world champions had been the best player of his formation in the Champions League last season, the striker Harry Kane (injured last year) having the stature of the one who will permanently mark the competition. Trained by Mauro Pochettino yesterday or by José Mourinho today, we feel the Spurs harder, more winning than their opponents in these eighths. Mourinho knows the Champions League like the mouse behind a Swiss cheese. Leipzig has time. Not the Soft. If we talk about football, it is clear that Tottenham will suffer. But if we talk about sport, that is to say mental, we bet on them.
This Sunday, January 19, nearly 800 people line the spans of the Arena Teddy Riner, the new temple of the ACCS Futsal Club Paris VA 92, inaugurated in Asnières-sur-Seine in July. Young people from the neighborhood, and not so young, came to encourage their team against Nantes, the highlight of the 12e day of the championship of France. The announcer takes advantage of a short period of calm to spread the news that brought the club to the front of the stage in early January: “You must have heard of it. The magic Ricardinho has signed with us… ” A round of applause, a power outage. Perfect representation of the difficulties of making futsal a major sport in France: imagine the Parc des Princes plunged into darkness at the time of Neymar’s presentation.
With the arrival of the Portuguese, 34, six times the best player in the world, more equal than Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo than Neymar, the Ile-de-France club enters a new dimension. All the more spectacular since he waded in the French fifth division in 2014. In six years, the Lions achieved one of the most dazzling climbs of French sport: an ascent each year, the title of their division as a bonus. Except for last season, tarnished by a lost final after extra time against Toulon. A slight hitch that should quickly be removed. This Sunday, at the end of a dominated head and shoulders match, the Altoséquanais win 7 goals to 1. Unbeaten this season (apart from the first league match against Toulouse, lost on the green carpet for playing a suspended player, despite an 8-1 victory). At mid-championship, they prance at the top of the classification with a difference in stratospheric goals of over 55.
Why did the discipline megastar sign in Asnières? “This is the question I am asked the most, he replied to the magazine team February 7. It’s a new challenge. I have already played in minor championships, in Japan, in Russia. I’ve been in Spain for seven years, I’ve won everything I could win, and now I want to help a team grow, to promote a championship. ” The club’s boss Sami Sellami, 33, was behind the transfer. Originally from Asnières-sur-Seine, he went through a business school before working for twelve years in the voluntary sector. In 2008, he decided to create an association to help the inhabitants of the district. “We wanted to support accused persons in entrepreneurial projects. The social dimension has always been an integral part of our motivations ”, says he. Very quickly, a futsal section was created, initially to occupy the children and educate them through the prism of sport. The crowd is such that Sami Sellami smells the opportunity. He made futsal the alpha and omega of his activities and launched a senior team in 2014. At the time, the club was on promotion of honor (PH), the lowest level in France. There followed a series of blows. The first in 2016, when the Access (for Citizen, Cultural Educational and Sports Association football club, then in the third division) enrolled five French internationals. Among them, Abdessamad Mohammed (44 caps), just crowned champion of France with Le Kremlin-Bicêtre and voted best player in the championship. Still at Asnières, he explains that his decision was not dictated by greed: “I come from a neighborhood in Val-de-Marne. I am sensitive to this project because it conveys the same values as the club in which I grew up. The combination of sporting performance and social proximity brought me here. ”
Since the club was created in 2014, the Lions have achieved a meteoric rise. Photo Cyril Zannettacci. Seen for Release
This culture permeates all spheres of the club. The striker Sid Belhaj, a French international, regularly turns into an educator and supports teams of young people: “When they see us, they have stars in their eyes. Everyone here is making a contribution. We don’t just focus on team number 1. We have to prepare for the future. ”
This January 19, during the match against Nantes, a kop of twenty teenagers sang songs, drums in hand, throughout the match. At the end of the match, 15-year-old Ibrahim, Chris and Kilyan are juggling in front of the Arena. From Asnières, they play 11-a-side football in Racing and became fans of the club. “We are proud to be from Asnières. It gives a good image of the city. ” They rejoice in the close relationship they have forged with their idols: “The players come to our games and give us lots of advice. About working at school and listening to parents. They instill in us the sense of sacrifice. ”
But to attract the best players, social is not enough. Captain Kevin Ramirez joined the club in 2017 while playing at Lazio in Rome with professional player status. Yes “The acclimatization to D3 was difficult”, the Frenchman was won over by the great ambitions displayed by the president. “It’s the club’s credo, to make possible what is impossible. It is clear that it works. Today we are a locomotive because we have a very competitive workforce. “ Over time, sporting issues have taken up a lot of space. “We cannot be on all fronts”, regrets Sami Sellami, before correcting: “We are going to make futsal a lever. The goal is to say, “You see, we succeeded from scratch, we can do it in any field.” It’s our showcase product. ” The president is now targeting the Champions League. “This is the end goal. We have started a real revolution. Right now, we’re just looking like Louis XVI ”, he plastered with a broad smile. Before thinking about the big-eared cup, Lions must already win D1, the only way to qualify. It’s more than in their ropes.
Placed under the aegis of the French Football Federation (FFF) since a decision of the Ministry of Sports in 1997, the tricolor futsal is entirely amateur. A status that inexorably slows the rise of clubs. “To exist, it is essential that the pre-training of the players is effective”, abounds Sami Sellami. A position shared by Pierre Jacky, coach of the France team: “The development of futsal in France requires professionalization. We need structured clubs and real training capable of bringing out the best players of tomorrow. “ The situation is evolving slowly. Since 2015, clubs can offer professional contracts which are not approved by the International Football Federation. The rare players concerned are therefore protected by labor law but not by international bodies.
Female soccer model
Pressured since the recent performances of the France team, the federation decided to launch a futsal development policy in early 2019. It must be said that the Blues are going through the most auspicious period in their history, after a first participation in the Euro in 2018 and encouraging results against the best nations. They had never been so close to the World Cup but missed the last step in January, in a final qualifying tournament. “The federation was not prepared for the Euro, smiled Abdessamad Mohammed. We weren’t their priority, but they’ve responded well since. We play in large arenas with quality parquet floors and substantial technical resources. It changes from the small stages where the sound system broke down every second time. ”
To develop futsal, the FFF now relies heavily on the influence of the French team. A model inspired by the success of women’s football at 11. Except that the women present two clubs at the top: Lyon, which dominates Europe as a bully, and Paris, a new rich with disproportionate ambitions. Two gondola heads that French futsal can’t (yet) claim to own. “By playing in a top league and in contact with foreign internationals, the level of French players is constantly increasing, assures Pierre Jacky. The arrival of Ricardinho shows that we are going in the right direction. “ The federation has created a club license (endowment of 20,000 euros paid to those who meet a number of criteria, such as the opening of futsal schools for young people). A policy deemed satisfactory by Sami Sellami, for whom “it is above all the clubs to take responsibility “.
The Asnières outbreak is a boon for French futsal, which today has nearly 30,000 licensees, an increase of 12% in five years. But the future of the Lions does not look so bright. It is now a question of amortizing the pharaonic salary (for futsal) of Ricardinho (approximately one million euros charged per year, while the annual budget of the club is around 500,000 euros). Without forgetting that of future recruits. In December, the newspaper Team reported negotiations started with several very high level players. Without specifying the identity. Sami Sellami claims to have already signed four pre-contracts with “Stars of the same caliber as Ricardinho”. To the uncertainty linked to the municipal elections (the city provided financial support of 110,000 euros per year until last year) is added the urgency to find sponsors and to raise funds. The broadcasting of the matches, and the TV rights that would ensue, is a priority. The D1 teams hope to ride on the success of the French team, whose matches during Euro 2018 were broadcast by the channel L’Equipe. In the meantime, ACCS is trying to generate excitement on social media. Eliott Crenel was hired as a community manager for “Create a buzz and be talked about”. Once again, Ricardinho’s arrival, with his million followers on Instagram, should serve as a springboard.
The game’s rules
Futsal is played 5 against 5, 4 field players and a goalkeeper, on a handball field and with an anti-rebound ball. Nine substitutes may be entered on the match sheet and the coach may make unlimited changes. The match lasts two halves of twenty minutes (actual playing time). If a player commits a foul, the referee may blow a direct or indirect free kick or a penalty. There are yellow and red cards. The excluded player can be replaced after two minutes of penalty. If a team concedes a shorthanded goal, the substitute may enter the field immediately. All faults committed by a team in a half-time are added up. From the sixth, the referee must whistle a direct free kick without wall (ten meters from the opponent’s goal or closer depending on where the foul was committed).
Bloodless last season but solid second in L1 after their victory (1-0) Saturday against Toulouse, the Marseillais led by André Villas-Boas take pleasure in sharing the adventure this year despite the will of the club to sell its stars as soon as possible . With two locomotives: Dimitri Payet and Steve Mandanda. .