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.
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.