It is a severe blow for millions of football practitioners and lovers across France.
Come to meet the leaders of Ile-de-France clubs this Wednesday morning at the headquarters of the Ligue de Paris Ile-de-France (Paris Ier), Noël Le Graët, the president of the French Football Federation (FFF), was very pessimistic about a resumption of amateur championships in the territory.
"We have already had some rumors from the ministry," said Le Graët.
It will be extremely difficult to resume competitions, it seems that a circular asks us not to play football for a month.
So the date of March 20 will be exceeded by the ministerial decision.
I have not yet seen the text but with the virus which is developing in the Paris region and certain departments, I think that the ministry will ask that we stop football.
A position confirmed in the evening by the government.
Half a word, the strong man of the FFF therefore acts the fact that we are heading towards a white season on the lawns of the amateur championships.
The Women's French Cup strongly threatened
In addition to stopping the amateur championships from National 3 (5th level) to the lowest departmental level, the Ministry of Sports has asked the FFF that the women's D2 and National 2 "do not resume immediately".
The latter had yet started again last week with several games late and was to officially resume the course of his championship, stopped at the end of October, March 13.
The late meetings, which were to take place this weekend, are therefore canceled.
Following the agreement of the Ministry of Sports, the FFF is happy to announce the resumption of the Women's D2!
- FFF (@FFF) February 19, 2021
The Women's Coupe de France, it is strongly threatened while there are three rounds to go in the amateur table before reunification with the D1 table for the round of 16.
A cancellation of the event is therefore always possible.
"A disaster for the clubs which have invested money this season"
A decision received as a new drama for many clubs.
"I would have preferred not to let us hope that a season was possible and that we focus from the start for a recovery in 2021, regrets Mahamadou Niakaté, CO Ulis coach in National 3. All that, c 'was cinema… It's a disaster for the clubs who have invested money this season, for the sponsors and for the players who lose a season in their career.
I am even more disgusted for our youngest graduates.
Hopefully we can participate in tournaments in the spring when the situation will be less dramatic.
A cry from the heart that Noël Le Graët seems to hear.
“Football will resume as soon as we can.
The volunteers are present and very imaginative.
Everyone misses football from players to kids.
"We do not play, we do not pay": the world of amateur football sounds the revolt
For the representatives of the N2, who were preparing to return to competition, the blow is hard.
"We weren't under too many illusions," confides Marc Mohamed, manager of the Entente Sannois Saint-Gratien club (N2) which was to receive Schiltigheim on March 13.
We had just spent 5,000 euros to do PCR tests.
We will be reimbursed by Social Security but I think there are more urgent things to manage than the resumption of football in the world now.
We invented a N2 pro championship in 15 days, when we are an amateur, to please certain clubs, but we know that it is not the Federation that decides.
The suspension of the seasons for the amateur levels is not without asking other questions: what about the climbs and descents in the different divisions for example?
The National being, him, authorized to continue… Without forgetting that the licensees, weaned from competitions since the autumn, could logically and massively ask for the reimbursement of their contributions.
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“We will probably have to adapt, maybe we will have to offer contributions per session or per month in the future, imagines Philippe Lemaître, coach at Drancy (N3). Stopping is undoubtedly the wisest situation in this context, but we must ask ourselves the question of the future. Will we have to wait for a vaccination passport to resume competitions? This stop is not without consequences for the finances of the clubs. We lost 150,000 euros last season by being relegated when the championship had not come to an end for the reasons we know. Some players won't come back, some sponsors won't either. The clubs will have less resources and the level may drop. But the most important is that we have a social role. I prefer to see my young people on the ground than doing bullshit in the streets. Sport is also used for that, it should not be forgotten. "