The French Football Federation (FFF) declared, Wednesday March 24, the end of the amateur championships for the current season. But the fate of the National 2 and the women’s D2 has not yet been finalized. We have gathered the reaction of club presidents, sports directors and players after the announcement of these new decisions.
The decision was predictable. It was especially eagerly awaited by amateur football clubs. After the recent decisions taken in rugby, handball and basketball, the French Football Federation confirmed, this Wednesday, March 24, the end of the amateur championships due to the current health crisis. Only the National 2 and Women’s D2 championships are not definitively stopped. They remain suspended for the moment and will do “the subject of a subsequent examination with regard to the prospects for a possible recovery“.
“It was acted out in the minds of all the actors, reacted Fabrice Rolland, president of the Saint-Malo club. It was necessary that this decision come. “Same observation for Didier Sommer, sports director at Entente Sportive Molsheim Ernolsheim, whose senior team plays in Regional 2: “We’ve been expecting this for a while. We have been polled several times on the possibility of a recovery or not. We defended the idea that we did not want to resume without the possibility of having access to the club house and that the public be present. There was no particular point in playing behind closed doors.“
Despite the curfew currently in force on the national territory, the clubs had, for the most part, managed to adapt in order to offer training sessions to their licensees. “We made sure to continue to offer activity, always with the prospect of a future resumption of the championships, continues Didier Sommer. We hope to be able to continue what we had put in place. But another question will quickly be raised: that of the defrayal of educators. We know that there will be no more potential cash flow in the clubs, so that will make things more complicated. “
For Fabrice Rolland too, this judgment does not change the problems that the clubs have been forced to face since the start of the health crisis. The president of Saint-Malo fears, for his part, a real loss among his licensees: “With the established health protocol, the training methods are degraded – contact is prohibited. Over time, it weighs on young people.“
On the side of Didier Sommer, the main concern concerns the coming season. “Are we going to manage to have a full season? When are we going to resume exactly?, wonders the sports director. What is certain is that amateur football will struggle to recover from a complicated third year. We hope to be able to resume normally this summer, in good conditions, and above all with an audience present.“
Guy Massaloux, president of the Illkirch-Graffenstaden club whose first team plays in National 3, advocated a white season since January. He is delighted with this decision: “From now on, we can concentrate on the rest, hoping that the health situation will allow us to resume a correct sporting life.. “
Unlike the last National level, the National 2 and Women’s D2 championships still have the hope of being able to resume in the days or weeks to come. For the president of Puy en Velay, Christophe Gauthier, we must not make a decision as brutal as last season; the N2 championship must find a final outcome. “It is the least of things, it is an ethical question vis-à-vis all the employees who work in this division.“, he argues.
On the other hand, he does not prefer to comment on the possibility of a stop for the D2 Women. “It would obviously be an injustice. But it must be recognized that the question is very complex. Our women have only played five matches, it would be difficult to establish a new schedule on the few remaining weekends.“