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Handball: border closed, "artist contract" ... the incredible situation of Luc Abalo, deprived of a club


After the World Cup in January, the French international from the Norwegian team of Elverum was not allowed to return to his club by the

The last season of his career will have enough to feed the memory box.

Beyond a final Olympic quest that he will try to validate next weekend with the Blues at the TQO in Montpellier, Luc Abalo is also going through an unprecedented adventure with his club Elverum.

Following the decisions taken by the Norwegian government to fight against the pandemic, the tricolor winger could not join his team at the end of the world in Egypt at the end of January.

A special case to which the former PSG player, 36, says he has adapted.

Wouldn't you be the first professional sportsman to telework?


(He laughs)

Yeah, that's a bit like that.

In any case, I am in a situation that can be described as unprecedented.

At first, I took it as a constraint, but in the end, it's okay, it allowed me to sort out some personal details here in Paris.

In this time of Covid, I cannot complain about my situation.

Me, I kept my job, I just had to adapt to a few changes in the program.

There are a lot worse than me.

What exactly happened?

After the World Cup in Egypt with the France team, I returned to Norway, to return to my club in Elverum.

With the Covid, some flights were canceled, so I took a day and a half to reach Oslo.

Arrived there, I waited 5 hours at customs where I was told that I could not enter the country.

At the World Cup, I had a sudden stress after hearing some rumors about it.

But at the moment, there is such a flow of information, we hear everything and its opposite that I thought I could fit.

But at customs, I was told no.

Despite discussions with the club, the federation and the embassy, ​​I had to return to France.

Luc Abalo during the last World Cup, in Egypt, against Switzerland./Newspix/Icon Sport  

How did you receive this refusal?

At the time, it was not easy.

I was leaving the World Cup, I was tired, I just wanted to go home.

Not only did I have to go back, but I took the same time to return to France: I left Egypt on Monday morning and I only arrived in Paris on Wednesday evening.

Yet you are an employee of the Elverum club.

What prevented you from returning to Norway?

I signed an "artist contract" with Elverum.

I can work in Norway, live there part of the year, I don't need a residence permit, but in fact I am not considered a permanent resident.

However, with the Covid, the Norwegian government only allows permanent residents to enter the territory.

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Has your club been unable to do anything?

The club are doing their best, they are working on the file.

But he cannot oppose government decisions.

Does this mean that you train alone, that you travel alone to join your partners when they play outside Norway?

In fact, this situation only lasted two weeks.

I spent a few days at the Maison du Hand, it was convenient to train, then I went to my brother.

And on February 15, I took the plane to join the team in Poland, where we were playing a Champions League match.

As our opponents cannot enter Norway, we play all our away matches.

After Kielce (Poland), we continued with our two games against Vardar Skopje (Macedonia), we played in Paris, then Porto.

There, I have just returned to France where I am attacking the internship with the Blues for the Olympic Qualifying Tournament (TQO).


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Can your situation change after this tournament?

At the club I was told they were going to make things right.

The Norwegian championship is suspended due to the pandemic.

But I hope to be able to come back and train for two or three weeks before our Champions League round of 16 in Barcelona.

Isn't it too hard to live psychologically?

It is human nature to complain.

Me, I do not want to let myself go to that.

Still months in this period of Covid.

What I am experiencing today is the life I will have in a few months, at the end of my career.

I want to move, travel to different countries, be globetrotting.

Psychologically, it's okay.

I'm fully into qualifying for the Games.

The only thing that's hard is not seeing the people I love.

I tell myself that even if I do all the tests in the world, it is always a risk to go see my mother who is elderly.

The difficulty, it is there, in the obligation to limit my contacts with the people I love.

But unfortunately, I think there is a lot to be in this case.

Source: leparis

All sports articles on 2021-03-05

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