France-Morocco: the president of the Union of French mosques calls for restraint

“A historic feat. » In a press release, published Monday, December 12, Mohammed Moussaoui, known as president of the French Council for Muslim Worship (CFCM), is full of praise for the performance of the Moroccan selection – the “Lions of the Atlas” – during the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. The first country on the African continent to qualify for the semi-finals, Morocco will meet the French team on Wednesday 14 December. The opportunity for the president of the Union of Mosques of France (UMF), himself of Moroccan origin, to call for restraint after excesses observed in France on the sidelines of the celebrations of the recent qualification of Morocco.

“Calm and serenity” in Morocco

Mohammed Moussaoui praises in his statement “humility” players and supporters in Morocco who expressed their joy and their pride in calm and serenity”. He also welcomed the behavior of supporters in Qatar, referring to their remarkable civic sense, that of not leaving the stadium without having cleaned the stands where they were installed”. Several videos of Moroccan fans cleaning the stands have been circulating since the start of the event.

If, at the same time, “also in France, the vast majority of supporters of the Moroccan team let their joy burst out in calm and respect”, Mohammed Moussaoui refers to the outbursts that took place after the matches against Belgium or Portugal. On social networks, scenes of degradation have been filmed, in particular on the Champs-Élysées. The police made more than 100 arrests.

A “harmful and unacceptable behavior” denounced

“The harmful and unacceptable behavior of a minority in certain cities of France is the very negation of this ideal which drives all Moroccans, players and supporters alike, that of humility, respect for others and their rights”, denounces the president of the UMF. Anxious to preserve the image of Moroccan supporters and the national team, he wishes “that all Franco-Moroccans, without exceptione, live up to this ideal which gives a bright image of Morocco and Moroccans ».

“This world football event must remind us above all that humanity is ONE, he also pleads in the press release, in its plural essence, in its diversity of origins and religions. »



World Cup 2022: Emmanuel Macron calls not to “politicize sport”

French President Emmanuel Macron estimated Thursday, November 17 that it was not necessary “politicizing sports” while the World Cup in Qatar continues to be debated a few days before its kick-off because of its climate cost and criticism of the human rights situation in this country.

“I think we shouldn’t politicize sport. These questions must be asked when attributing the event. he launched from Bangkok, the announcement of his coming to Qatar if the France team arrived in the semi-finals or final having also made waves.

The Cautious Blues

The first football World Cup ever organized in the Arab world, which begins on Sunday, has sparked several controversies, over the living conditions of local workers, the impact on the environment of air-conditioned stadiums and the place of LGBTQ+ women and minorities.

These criticisms prompted some fans, especially from Western Europe, to boycott the competition. Emmanuel Macron insisted that “it was a very bad idea to politicize sport”, recalling that Paris was going to organize the Olympic Games in 2024.

The head of state went to Russia in 2018 to attend the World Cup final, won by the Blues against Croatia. The French team, which arrived in Doha on Wednesday, remains cautious in its positions on human rights.

The players notably renounced an initiative common to several European selections, who want their captains to wear an armband with colored stripes during the competition in support of the fight against discrimination. Fifa has still not given the green light for this operation, while homosexuality is criminalized in the emirate. It’s necessary “show respect” to the host country, justified the captain of the Blues, Hugo Lloris.



Football: the Swiss prosecutor’s office appeals the acquittal of Platini and Blatter

The Swiss public prosecutor is appealing the acquittal pronounced this summer by Michel Platini and the former president of Fifa, the Swiss Sepp Blatter, in a case of fraud, he indicated Thursday, October 20 in a communicated.

The public prosecutor sent a declaration of appeal to the Court of Appeal of the Federal Criminal Court (TPF) and “requested the total annulment of the judgment of first instance”, explains the press release confirming information from the daily L’Equipe.

Acquittal delivered in July

After six years of investigation and two weeks of trial for fraud in Switzerland, the French football icon, 67, and Sepp Blatter, 86, were acquitted on July 8. They faced five years in prison and the prosecution had requested a year and eight months in prison suspended.

Both were appearing for having organized “ illegally, to the detriment of Fifa, a payment of two million Swiss francs”, approximately 1.8 million euros, “in favor of Michel Platini”.

Defense and prosecution agreed on one point: the triple Ballon d’Or advised Sepp Blatter well between 1998 and 2002, during the latter’s first term at the head of Fifa, and the two men signed a contract in 1999 agreeing to an annual remuneration of 300,000 Swiss francs, entirely paid by Fifa. But, in January 2011, the former midfielder who has since become UEFA President asserted a claim of two million Swiss francs”qualified as “false invoice” by the prosecution.

A “gentlemen’s agreement”

The two men insisted on their side that they had from the start decided on an annual salary of one million Swiss francs, by a “gentlemen’s agreement” oral and without witnesses, without the finances of Fifa allowing immediate payment to Michel Platini.

French “Worth His Million”assured Sepp Blatter to the magistrates, before Michel Platini in turn described a negotiation so little formalized that he had not specified the motto: “Me for fun, I said: pesetas, liras, rubles, marks, it’s up to you”had told the legend of the Blues at the hearing.

The court finally found that the fraud was not “not established with a likelihood bordering on certainty”, believing that ” the doubt must benefit the defendants”.



Football: Canal + wants a call for tenders for TV rights

Canal + will not make a gift to the League for TV rights: the encrypted channel asked Tuesday, January 13 for a new call for tenders for all Ligue 1 matches, posing the threat of an even more drastic reduction in television revenues for clubs.

→ CONTEXT. French football is keeping its fingers crossed on its future

Believing that “Ligue 1 has lost a lot of value” with the Covid-19 crisis and the withdrawal of the major broadcaster Mediapro negotiated in December, the boss of Canal +, Maxime Saada, announced in an interview with Figaro that his channel intended to return to the Professional Football League (LFP) its share of matches (20% of L1), wishing to see all of the matches put back on sale via a new call for tenders.

“We finally came to the conclusion on the Canal + side that it was in the interest of all stakeholders to go through a call for tenders”, said Maxime Saada, while, according to several sources familiar with the matter, the League favored a reallocation via a mutual agreement between the two parties.

Record contracts signed in 2018

Canal + currently broadcasts 20% of Ligue 1 matches, via a sub-license signed with BeIN Sports, for an annual amount of 330 million euros. The remaining 80% are still broadcast on Téléfoot, the channel of the Sino-Spanish group Mediapro, even though the latter negotiated its withdrawal with the League last December.

Football: Canal + wants a call for tenders for TV rights

Initially, the contract for the broadcasting of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 for the 2020-24 cycle had broken records, reaching the annual amount of 1.217 billion euros, of which more than 800 million for the Mediapro group alone, new came to the French market.

→ DEBATE. Can French football go bankrupt?

But since September, Mediapro wanted to renegotiate its contract downwards and ended up agreeing to withdraw from the market, in return for compensation of 100 million euros against the promise not to be sued.

Canal + has always insisted, since the 2018 call for tenders, that Ligue 1 had been overestimated by Mediapro. In October, Maxime Saada had already indicated that the channel would refuse to “Reinvest at a loss in football”. On Tuesday, the leader also insisted that Canal did not “Not been treated properly in recent years” by French football, between the call for tenders and the postponements of matches because of the demonstrations of “yellow vests” for example.

Canal + alone in the running?

For the Vivendi group channel, the call for tenders is a risk: by returning its lots, it runs the risk of leaving empty-handed about the future allocation. But in the opinion of all observers, few other broadcasters (RMC Sport? Amazon? The DAZN platform?) Seem able to invest a lot of money in French football.

→ ANALYSIS. Break between Mediapro and the League, French football forced to reinvent itself

In addition, Canal + has an agreement with its former competitor BeIN Sports, and several sources close to the negotiations questioned in recent days saw them act together on the matter.

For the LFP, which had not reacted in the evening Tuesday, the call for tenders suggests a drastic reduction in the TV rights of Ligue 1, which could be negotiated downwards.