It became a habit.
A sad and above all disturbing habit.
Since the resumption of training for handball, basketball and volleyball clubs in France, not a day goes by without positive cases of Covid-19 being declared within the workforce and disrupting preparations.
Many matches were thus canceled.
The Basketball League (LNB) estimates that nearly 40% of these preseason meetings - out of a total of around 180 - could not take place.
At the beginning of the week, the handball club of Créteil (Starligue) suspended its collective training because of three positive cases.
Same situation ten days ago for Ajaccio volleyball players who deplored 8 positive cases.
No club is spared.
But so far this has only been about friendlies or training.
🚨 Following the withdrawal of the 2 finalist teams, the FFBB is sorry to announce that the final of the Women's French Cup which was to oppose @BourgesBasket to @ASVEL_Feminin this evening at @Accor_Arena will not be held ➡️ https: // t .co / hlenjXwHHg pic.twitter.com/oFTpxuAIFJ
- FFBB (@ffbasketball) September 18, 2020
This Friday the situation took on a new dimension with the cancellation, at the last moment, of the final of the French Women's Basketball Cup.
A few hours before their match, scheduled for the evening at the Accor Arena in Paris, the players from Bourges and Asvel withdrew, supported by their clubs, due to the cases of Covid: 3 in Bourges, 1 in the Asvel.
An unprecedented decision which should cost the Federation € 300,000 (FFBB).
Worried about their health, the basketball players also criticized the FFBB for not having established a clear health protocol that contradicted that of their male counterparts.
"Do not talk to me about equality between men and women because the protocol of the Men's League says that with three cases the match is postponed, we play," Agnès St-Ges, president of the Bourges club, explained to us on Wednesday.
Why this difference?
The season was expected to be complicated and disrupted, it will be for everyone.
A few days before the resumption of the championships, most of which will resume next week, concern is climbing at the same rate as the deterioration of the health situation.
Also in basketball, the League announced that two Pro B Leaders Cup matches had been postponed.
These posters are reprogrammed but the calendar risks quickly saturating for some clubs engaged on the European scene.
PSG Handball has thus seen its entry into the Champions League postponed due to a case with its opponent Szeged (Hungary).
All the leagues are obliged to adapt to this new and inextricable situation.
❌ MATCH CANCELED ❌
By mutual agreement with @ Metropolitans92, the match initially scheduled for tomorrow evening and canceled.
Head for the regular season next Wednesday!
- Nanterre 92 (@ Nanterre92) September 16, 2020
"We studied a schedule to be able to postpone matches," says Etienne Capon, general manager of the Handball League (LNH).
We have eliminated competitions, and the Coupe de France will be played in one match, but we know that we are going to have a few complicated months, especially for our internationals and the clubs that compete in European Cups.
We are fatalistic and very attentive to the situation.
The main cause for concern is the closed door.
Playing matches without spectators would be suicidal and economically devastating for our clubs.
In the Bouches-du-Rhône, the maximum capacity is 1000 places, if this remains as it is, it will be very complicated for Aix.
The executive committee of the NHL is due to act on Tuesday a new protocol which allows teams to play as long as they can line up 10 or 11 professional players on the scoresheet in Starligue and 7 or 8 in Proligue (D2).
Newsletter - Most of the news
Every morning, the news seen by Le Parisien
Your email address is collected by Le Parisien to enable you to receive our news and commercial offers.
For these clubs the most complicated part has only just begun.