L1 dismisses the white season solution

A small victory, a possibly derisory victory if the 2020-2021 football season goes out the window under the effect of successive waves of contamination from the coronavirus, but a victory nonetheless: according to several sources, the idea of ​​a 2019-2020 Ligue 1 season known as “white”, that is to say without classification and without effect at any level whatsoever – qualification for the European Cups, relegation or promotion from one division to another, ( hypothetical) recovery of TV rights indexed to performance -, has been ruled out by the Professional Football League, or rather the working group it has set up to work on the “recovery scenarios”.

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If the principle of the white season had been adopted, the sporting verdicts of the 2018-2019 season would have been identical and dispatched, for example, the Olympique Lyonnais (3e from L1 in May 2019) in the Champions League next fall as the club chaired by Jean-Michel Aulas dragged to the 7e place when the championships were stopped in mid-March. Thus, Aulas has made himself the proselyte of this white season: he defends his dairy, the camp opposite (Olympique de Marseille and Stade Rennes, eligible for the Champions League or his preliminary round at the time of the stop of competition) did the same and, to our knowledge, absolutely no one defended anything else – a sporting vision, for example – than their own interests.

Temporal conflict

It’s football: a zero-sum game, or at least understood as such by its decision-makers. However, except reversal of the situation excluded by the team in its Wednesday edition, and with the understanding that there is “No ideal solution” as Raymond Domenech, president of the coaches’ union underlined, the start of the season has started to count: we can for example stop the classification at the time of the stoppage, that is to say at the 28e day of L1, unless we stick to that of 27e day (which would be fair with RC Strasbourg, who saw his match of the 28e day in front of the postponed Paris-SG). Or mid-championship, so at 19e day since at that moment, all the clubs met once – which would have the merit of not penalizing those who have faded the PSG twice for so many defeats.

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We are talking about a temporal conflict: the supporters of the “white” season argued for the time of a statutory competition spread over 38 days, those of the current classification for the time of the match, in which case it seemed scandalous to them. erase the 279 games (75% of the championship) already disputed, with as many sports verdicts as it is important to make sacred. Would we have dared to brandish the concept of “white” season if the championship had stopped at 37e and penultimate day? Reasoning by the enlightening absurd, which also recalls the last Tour de France (the Colombian Egan Bernal had taken the yellow jersey at the end of a shortened stage), or the all fresh Paris-Nice (cancellation of the last step and coronation before the German Maximilian Schachmann).

Upcoming legal battles

A reasoning that we owe, once is not custom, to the political power of football: last week, in the shade of any media impact, the French Football Federation (FFF) of President-elect Noël Le Graët showed this direction by stopping the classifications (sometimes accompanied by a weighting game) of all the amateur divisions except one (the National, in fact a hybrid between the professional world and the amateur world) at the time of confinement, c that is to say by accepting the sports judgments, admittedly incomplete, fallen on all terrains of France between August 2019 and March 2020.

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It is therefore difficult to make a double standard between pros and amateurs, especially since the federal decision could have been used as an argument in the (probable) legal battles to come. Always the same story: when the economic power is in agony, the political takes the hand and it goes from football as from the rest. French football has already sat down on its shameless sports verdicts: the ex of the Luzenac Ariège Pyrénées (LAP), failed at the gates of Ligue 2 in 2014 for fanciful reasons (and to raise the Strasbourg juggernaut), know some thing. Politics is also there to set limits.

Grégory Schneider


Festivals: “When it stops, you are naked”

“The mess, as you say.” It would have been his first time at the Festival in d’Avignon and it was one of the best news of the 2020 program. Gwenaël Morin, revered for his uncompromising way of pulling the duvets from the well-combed theater, has repacked his staging of ”Andromache in cardboard stocks which are generally used as a decoration. And, in a mixture of abatement and extra-clarity, he waits. “I watch westerns by Budd Boetticher, and it makes me feel great nostalgia. It looks like the relics of a permanently gone world. A bit like Sophocles, what. ” So the mess. Less, perhaps, than for the Palermitaine Emma Dante, who must bury not one creation in Avignon but two, without being able to count too much on the Italian State – “No one talks about culture here.” Less, of course, than for the young Beirut choreographer Ali Chahrour, also programmed in the late edition 2020, and who counted on his international summer tour to recover in hand the money of the co-productions that the banking crisis in Lebanon l ‘prevents touching to work (we’ll come back to this).


Of course, Gwenaël Morin benefits from the French aid system and is not in the process of sorting out his last yellow pieces as the emerging artists of the off will unfortunately have to do. But still. This former mason hooked to his art by the molars works like a “Pure cicada”, unsure of securing his back, allergic to the idea of ​​putting together a list of 25 co-producers before each creation with which you have to go to tour for two seasons even if your piece, in the end, is missed. It’s not boastfulness, it’s just that he would still prefer to go back and build walls. “My luxury is to work day to day. It’s a real discipline to keep the desire for what you do. Then it’s quit or double, when it stops, you’re naked. ”

Read alsoCulture: insurances not really all risks

For its part, the biggest dance company in France, that of Angelin Preljocaj, still hopes to be able to pay underpants to its twenty-four permanent dancers. Forty-four dates canceled between March 16 and the end of July, a creation scheduled for September 12 at the Lyon Dance Biennial with rehearsal start scheduled for early May – a mirage? Big sweat, too, with the choreographer Emanuel Gat, who nevertheless wore himself like a charm: before going to the prestigious Sadler’s Wells in London then to Chaillot in Paris (the stable with which he is associated), his new creation was to open the Montpellier Danse festival in June. It was the assurance that it would be seen by a hundred international programmers – crucial for this independent company, well supported by the public authorities but whose 60% to 70% of the economy rests on the receipts of the tours. Half of them are made abroad and mobilize a cast among the most cosmopolitan in the sector. “Our dancers – who are fourteen for the project – come from Hawaii, Israel, the Netherlands or Germany, explains the company’s office. This means, on the one hand, that we are taking cash risks to compensate artists who sometimes do not receive compensation in their countries. And, on the other hand, that we do not know when it will be possible to work again given the various containment schedules. We therefore have our eyes riveted on the information on the reopening of borders. ”

For the moment, creation has been postponed until the fall, like 70% of Montpellier Danse’s programming. And as also a micro-part of that of the Kunstenfestivaldesarts of Brussels (international locomotive initially stalled in May). Guest of the festival, the great Chinese documentary filmmaker Wang Bing was to present a kind of scenic adaptation of the monster work he was filming in Lagos, Nigeria – a film on the economic neocolonization of China in Africa. Where is. His very first time on stage. The experience of confinement changed his plans, including artistic ones: it would now be a question of showing spectators a reconstruction of his apartment in Beijing in which we could meet him, in September, therefore – if indeed that Sisyphus and his rock do not slide down this slope again, which will be difficult to climb in 2021.


“Theater people” are rather lucky, however. “They have one-month contracts, set a year in advance. We are day contracts that are decided a week before the performance, notes Christelle Oyiri, DJ, composer and performer who performs under the name of Crystallmess. Until the start of confinement, she played every weekend, abroad, in France, in clubs or museums. It was her first year as an intermittent, with fees planned for the Sónar Festival in Barcelona or the Nuits Sonores – the Lyon festival, postponed, however, at the end of July, announced its cancellation on Friday. Even if, for the time being, she can still pay her rent, she would like to point out that the aid that is offered by the government is “A big foutage of mouth. They are lesser, fake and unsuitable helpers. We already feel that they are going to go to big party organizers and institutions. For the others, you must have a record of over-indebtedness, be sick, have a lot of kids. It’s not about the average intermittent. “

Read alsoStatus of artists: hiatus between fund and form

And the files to fill out are heavy, stacks up the cellist, improviser and composer of film music Vincent Courtois: “I am lucky because as a musician supported by a structure, I am helped. The job of administrator is vital right now. “ Lucky too, is that in his network, the big lashes take place over the periods from October-November and at the end of January until May. A less catastrophic calendar – at least for now – than that of electronic music, among the first sectors to have been affected, and undoubtedly the last which will glimpse the horizon, in the distance, the possibility of an island. Without being able to count, still according to Christelle Oyiri, on a valid support system: “And it’s a real paradox because, for music, French prestige, in my opinion, does not come from anything other than electronic music. And I feel like we’re being treated like shit. You have to update the software to finally help artists who are internationally renowned – not for variety artists, no, for DJs. ”

Eve Beauvallet


Olivier Lamm


no psychosis despite the 3000 supporters of Juventus present in Lyon

REPORTAGE – The epidemic, which is now paralyzing Italy, has not prevented the 2,700 Juventus fans from Turin from coming to the football stadium in the capital of Gaul.

2,700 Turin fans, 600 of whom roamed the streets of Lyon on Tuesday before the Champions League match against OL.
2,700 Turin fans, 600 of whom roamed the streets of Lyon on Tuesday before the Champions League match against OL. MARCO BERTORELLO / AFP

“We are not plague victims”, claims Fabrizio, 28, a fan of Juventus and crossed paths at Lyon-Pardieu station on Wednesday before the Champions League match against OL. Like him, 2,700 Turin supporters, 600 of whom were walking the streets of Lyon on Tuesday, were on the move at Groupama Stadium. To the chagrin of some politicians, Ségolène Royal Marine Le Pen, passing by the mayors (LR) of Meyzieu and Décines-Charpieu, communes on which the stadium is located, who worried and openly questioned the continuation of the meeting, in the midst of a coronavirus epidemic. “I understand the fears and questions, but we must not fall into psychosis”, continues Fabrizio, before this pirouette: “The only virus that Lyon can know about is the Ronaldo virus. For the rest, don’t worry. ”

And the capital of Gaul was there throughout the day on Wednesday. Apart from a few vials of hydroalcoholic gel distributed here and there at the reception of surrounding hotels,

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PSG: scent of tension after the defeat at Dortmund

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.

Grégory Schneider


Champions League: the other eighths of the week

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 eighth final.

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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 head coach Jose Mourinho reacts ahead of the English Premier League football match between Aston Villa and Tottenham Hotspur at Villa Park in Birmingham, central England on February 16, 2020. (Photo by JUSTIN TALLIS / AFP) / RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club / league logos or 'live' services. Online in-match use limited to 120 images. An additional 40 images may be used in extra time. No video emulation. Social media inTottenham 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.

Grégory Schneider


Ramses Kefi


OM: the phoenix feeds on its ashes

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. .