Football: foreign investors attacking French clubs

One by one, Ligue 1 football clubs are flying under foreign flags. OL Groupe, the holding company that owns Olympique Lyonnais, announced on Monday June 20 that it had entered into “exclusive negotiations” with a view to acquiring a majority stake in the Eagle Football Holdings group, belonging to the American John Textor, who already owns several football clubs.

“This operation would lead to a complete sale of the stake of Pathé and IDG”which represent respectively 19.36% and 19.85% of the capital of OL Groupe, “and to a progressive liquidity of Holnest, the family holding company of Jean-Michel Aulas”, historical president of the club which holds 27.72% of the capital, said the group in a press release.

PSG, the first elite club under a foreign flag

The takeover of Olympique Lyonnais follows on from a wave of acquisitions that began almost twenty years ago. With as a starting point, in 2006, the sale by Canal+ of Paris Saint-Germain to a consortium of American investment funds, before the club became the exclusive property of one of them, Colony Capital.

The capital club then became the first Ligue 1 team controlled by foreign capital, except to consider that the takeover of Bordeaux by M6 brought the Girondins club into the fold of its Luxembourg shareholder.

Five years later, in the summer of 2011, PSG was sold to Qatar Sports Investments, a company owned by the Qatari state. A few months later, AS Monaco was in turn sold by the Principality to the Russian oligarch Dmitri Rybolovlev.

These two takeovers quickly became successes: the two clubs would compete at the top of Ligue 1 for several years. The Monegasque team will even have a spectacular Champions League campaign in 2017 by reaching the semi-finals of the most prestigious European competition.

2016-2020, the wave of acquisitions

Five years later, the success of the two clubs arouses the curiosity of investors. In 2016, OGC Nice was sold to Chien Lee, a Chinese businessman. The club is now owned by the Ineos group, an English multinational oil company that has successfully invested in cycling. The same year, another monument of the French championship, Olympique de Marseille, was sold to the American Frank McCourt.

This wave of acquisitions continued the following year with the takeover of Lille by the Hispano-Luxembourg businessman Gérard Lopez. In 2018, it was the turn of the Girondins de Bordeaux to be bought by the American billionaire Joe DaGrosa. Ligue 2 clubs do not escape the attention of investors. After Auxerre (2015) and Sochaux (2016), Troyes, Caen, Toulouse are sold to foreign owners.

From now on, nothing seems to be able to prevent the arrival of foreign capital in French football. Of the 40 clubs in Ligue 1 and Ligue 2, more than half are owned by foreign funds. The takeover of the SCO of Angers by American investors is recorded. That of Lyon too. And Saint-Étienne is for sale.



E-sport: French players settle on the international scene

The Head of State opens the doors of the Élysée to several representatives of French e-sport (or electronic sport) this Friday, June 3. Among the best known: specialist journalist Laure Valée, Zerator and Kameto, pseudonyms of streamers (they broadcast and comment on video game games online). This invitation comes on the occasion of the Trackmania Cup, an international competition organized in Bercy (Paris) by Zerator. This game, flagship of French e-sport, has also been brought out of oblivion by French players.

Emmanuel Macron is visibly interested in this environment, which is increasingly publicized, recognized by legislation and an integral part of the daily life of 9.6 million people (according to figures from the France Esports association).

Several advances were thus observed during his mandate. LREM created the first study group on video games at the National Assembly and the Ministry of Sports launched the “E-sport Strategy 2020-2025” program.

During an interview for The Big Whale (a media specializing in cryptocurrencies), last April, Emmanuel Macron boasted “ this area of ​​French excellence”, likely to participate in the influence of the country, especially at the time of the 2024 Olympic Games. “It’s up to us to take advantage of this to make the link between the Olympiads of the two worlds by hosting the biggest e-sports events in the world that year”he adds.

Recent sports performances and exploding audiences

The French began to break into the global esports scene in the 2000s, but then fell significantly behind countries such as China, Korea and the United States. The legal status of professional player is only recognized in 2016 in France. While they now have job security and social coverage, the discrepancy observed with other nations has pushed back the emergence of French leaders. Added to this is the lack of infrastructure dedicated to the organization of tournaments and the expectation concerning the deployment of fiber optics.

It was in 2007 that France imposed itself on Counter-Strike (a shooting game). Since then, the Vitality team has been among the best in the world and one of its champions “ZywOo” was voted the best player in the world in 2019 and 2020.

Another Vitality structure team lifted France to the top of the game Rocket League (mixture of ball game and car driving). The sports minister at the time, Roxana Maracineanu, did not hesitate to congratulate the players.

Players from the very popular League of Legends (battles within arenas) even received a private message from the Head of State. Members of the famous Karmine Corp team, they won the title of French League champions six months after the creation of the team in 2021, then the European Masters. With Vitality, Karmine Corp is one of the benchmarks in French e-sport.

Beyond the performance of e-sportspeople, France also shines with the enthusiasm aroused by video game competitions. The audiences for the competitions League of Legends exploded in 2021. Nearly 190,000 people followed the final online, peaking at 380,000. minutes and 200,000 online viewers were recorded.



At Roland-Garros, the endless fall of French tennis

After hitting rock bottom, French tennis continues to dig. 2021 had already delivered a sad record, when no Habs had gone further than the second round at Roland-Garros. On Sunday May 22, for the first time since 1999, the Parisian Grand Slam opened without any Blue being among the seeded players in the tournament, this guarantee offered to the 32 best male and female players in the ATP and WTA rankings not to meet in their first two matches. This year again, there is therefore no reason to dream of a possible successor to Yannick Noah or Mary Pierce, the last French titleholders, in 1983 and 2000.


The generation of the “four musketeers”, carried into the men’s table by the semi-finals of Gaël Monfils in 2008 and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in 2013 then 2015, will soon only offer twilight. The 22and world place of the first allowed him to dream of a surprise run like Richard Gasquet’s quarter-final six years ago, but a heel discomfort dragged since the start of the season forced the French number one to withdraw, the last week.

When the second could see his fortnight come down to a single afternoon since the draw reserved for him, for this Tuesday, May 24, a very high first step in the person of Casper Ruud, world number 8. At 37, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will end his career after his thirteenth Roland-Garros, already “relieved to know it’s the last” : “Because I still have my mind and my body telling me it’s time to stop”, he conceded at a press conference.

Gilles Simon, who, like Tsonga, owes his participation to an invitation from the organizers, will imitate him at the end of the season, after saying he is aware that his level “declining steadily since a few years “. Finally, fell back to the 75and line of the world ranking, Richard Gasquet does not seem more convinced of his chances: the 35-year-old player is announced in the team of commentators of France Télévisions, as soon as his tournament is over. Even if his velvet backhand still allowed him to afford a prestigious victory against world number two Daniil Medvedev during the preparation tournament in Geneva.

The younger generation is waiting

There remain the unknowns Benoît Paire (rackets more often broken than applied to make sparks), Alizé Cornet (quarter-finalist at the Australian Open in January, his best Grand Slam performance, at 32), or Lucas Pouille , whose subscription to the infirmary for two seasons has tarnished the hopes born of a last four in a major tournament, in Melbourne, in 2019.

→ PORTRAIT. Rafael Nadal, clay court ogre and record hunter

Freed from sanitary gauges this year, the stands are watching for new faces to reconnect with the thrills. Problem: the younger generation is waiting, or struggling to confirm after the spectacular performances of Fiona Ferro and Hugo Gaston, both eighth finalists two years ago.

If the Blues invite themselves more often to the trophy presentations among the juniors, many stumble at the qualifying stage for the main draw, where only Geoffrey Blancaneaux has offered himself a place this year out of the 27 Frenchmen involved. In 2016, the Francilien lifted the cup in front of Félix Auger-Aliassime, another hope installed since in the world top 10, and become one of the ambassadors of the little yellow ball in Canada, new stronghold alongside Spain, from Russia and Italy.

Changes “every two-three years” at the head of the federation

Asked by The Team on the sidelines of the last preparation tournament in Rome, where no Tricolore was qualified, the German Jan de Witt, former coach of Gaël Monfils and Gilles Simon, explained this sad situation by too frequent changes in the direction of the French federation . “We do something, then new people come in and do something different”he analyzed, a year after the arrival of Gilles Moretton as president of the FFT. “If we want to build a program that brings players to the top, it will take at least five years. And probably between eight and ten years to start seeing results. »

→ ANALYSIS. To bounce back, French tennis is taking a digital turn

To achieve the objectives set for 2024 by the national technical director, Nicolas Escudé – two women and two men in the top 20, four Grand Slam quarter-finalists and three Olympic or Paralympic medals at the Paris Games in 2024 –, the training should in particular “acculturate to everything covered by the mental dimension and give it a significant place with players and coaches”, slips Francisca Dauzet, new commissioned on the issue of mental support within the FFT.


Djokovic, Alcaraz and Swiatek favorites

Away from the courts until October, Roger Federer is absent from the tournament. Rafael Nadal, record holder of victories in Paris (13), appears physically diminished, and the world number one and defending champion, Novak Djokovic, is in the same part of the table as the Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz, the man to beat this season. on clay. The women remain on eight different winners, but the Polish Iga Swiatek is the only favorite: surprise winner in 2020, she has been undefeated for 28 games.



French judo in reconquest after the Covid

During the last school year in September, Mathis, 8, put on his kimono for the first time, proud and impatient to tread the tatami of the dojo in his district of Angers (Maine-et-Loire). Without the Covid epidemic, the little boy would have started judo earlier. The uncertainty that followed the first confinement slowed us down a bit, says Pierre Dessarte, his dad, himself a former judoka. We didn’t want to pay for a license without being sure that he could practice his sport all year round. Mathis therefore, somewhat reluctantly, chose to resume football until last June.

REREAD. Covid-19: halls and gymnasiums closed, a severe impact on the sports world

Like other martial arts or combat sports such as karate or taekwondo, the closure of dojos in the fall of 2021 has put a huge brake on the practice of judo, already in decline for ten years, says Sébastien Nolésini, the new general manager of the French Federation of Judo, Jujitsu, Kendo and Associated Disciplines (FFJDA). This recorded a drop of nearly 200,000 licenses at the height of the health crisis in 2021, falling from 512,000 to 315,000 registered in one of the 5,500 clubs.

Outdoor mats

Despite these difficulties, the former member of the French judo team Stéphane Nomis, elected president of the FFJDA in November 2020, did not resign himself, quickly launching a recovery plan aimed at winning back lost licensees. We thus quickly committed 1.9 million euros to the territories and clubs, of which we feared that a certain number of them would disappear”, details its general manager. This pandemic has changed habits“offering us the opportunity to rethink ourselves and set ourselves new projects to put in place”, concludes Sébastien Nolésini.

→ REREAD. Emmanuel Macron launches his sports plan and announces 5,000 sports equipment created or renovated

“In a Fighting Spirit” he too, Laurent Dies, federal technical adviser in Indre-et-Loire, clung to this recovery plan, immediately making himself available to volunteers and coaches, “who have shown their ability to adapt to constraints”he judges, admiringly. “Some clubs have maintained a link with their licensees, making the bold choice to leave their dojo and put their tatamis outside, offering muscle strengthening sessions such as taïso, a method that is practiced a lot in judo. “.

In the department of Indre-et-Loire, the clubs have also opened up new horizons, initiating workshops in nursing homes, while the federal committee has approached a vocational school, accompanying it in its campaign to communication while preparing a major traveling photo exhibition on the transmission of knowledge. We left the sporting field to turn to new actors that we were not used to soliciting, and thus enhance our qualities and our values”, rejoices Laurent Dies.

“A bit like a Tour de France village”

Next November, the city of Tours will be one of the 20 stages of the “Champions route” operation, welcoming the French team of yesterday and today and bringing together thousands of children. This event was designed by the federation a bit like a Tour de France village”, compares Sébastien Nolésini, who relies on the power of attraction of the big stars and the new generation of judokas to attract new audiences.

The Tokyo Olympics in particular, marked by the historic gold medal of the Blues in the team competition against the Japanese, undoubtedly contributed to the rebound of the discipline, even if the impact is difficult to measurecontinues Sébastien Nolésini. During the Olympics, judo was the sport most followed by the French, with more than 18 million views. At the same time, the FFJDA launched the “1,000 dojos” program, to set up new equipment in deprived areas, in the suburbs or in rural areas, in Nanterre and Mayenne..

And, because more than 70% of the licensees are under eleven years old, the leaders of French judo have taken it into their heads to get closer to the national education system, developing the “Judo at school” program from the start of the next school year with the hope of strengthening “the territorial imprint of the discipline» and to encourage the youngest to practice sport. A policy of openness which has borne fruit since the start of the 2021 school year. Although competitions have not yet returned to pre-crisis attendance levels, particularly among 14-16 year olds, the rebound in the number of licensees has operated everywhere in France, with 44% of new registrants among the 453,000 licenses listed in early May. The FFJDA has set itself the goal of once again reaching the threshold of 500,000 practitioners by the 2024 Paris Olympics.


A fine harvest of medals at the last European Championships

Winning three titles, two silver medals and three bronze at the European Championships which took place in Sofia (Bulgaria) from April 29 to May 1, the Blues confirmed their domination on the continental scene. The extraordinary new generation of judokas won seven of the eight tricolor medals. By dismissing the Portuguese Catarina Costa in the – 48 kg final, Shirine Boukli, 23, offered the first tricolor victory to Sofia, quickly followed by Marie-Ève ​​Gahié, who won her first European title in – 70 kg and by Romane Dicko, crowned for the third time in her career at + 78 kg. These female successes compensate for the disappointment among men. In the absence of the usual executives, including Teddy Riner, only Cédric Révol (– 60 kg) returned from the European championships with a bronze medal.



To bounce back, French tennis is taking a digital turn

In September 2021, Benoît, in his forties, took his tennis racket out of his closet. Re-dismissed after a break of ten years, this Nantais returned to his sport of heart, accompanying the first steps on the clay of his 8-year-old little boy. Since re-enrolling, he has discovered many changes. In particular thanks to the Ten’Up application, put into service in 2019 by the French Tennis Federation (FFT) for all licensees in France. He found a lot of information there that precipitated his return to competition.

→ ANALYSIS. Men’s tennis facing the loss of bearings

To my surprise, I quickly registered online for two tournaments near my home this fall. Before, I had all the difficulty in the world to know the places and the dates of the individual competitions”, exposes this former classified third series (15/2). Designed as a social network, the application also allowed him to find players of his level. Regular opponents, which he would not have probably not known without this tool”, he observes.

Adapt to the expectations of licensees

Very busy with his work as an animated film creator and his family life, Benoît juggles between multiple applications to optimize his time: “In this sense, Ten’Up has made my life easier. Because, to resume a sport like tennis, you need to have a little time in front of you. And, to progress, you have to play matches. I’m not specifically chasing the rankings or the performances, but I want to have fun by having the feeling of improving myself”, continues the forties. Since the launch of Ten’UP, the FFT claims 600,000 downloads, more than 200,000 monthly users and 350,000 visits to the application for the month of March 2022 alone.

The emergence of this tool thus coincides with the increase in the number of licensees: 947,000 cards registered in 2021, distributed among the 7,340 clubs in France. “However, it is difficult to say whether this increase in the number of licensees – around 13% – was favored by the Ten’Up application”, tempers Lionel Maltese, sports marketing specialist and lecturer at Aix-Marseille University. Because “during the entire Covid period, the practice of tennis, a distance sport, without contact, was also less stifled than other disciplines”, he observes.

The application was nevertheless a priority for the FFT, which saw in it the means of “to respond to changes in the use of practitioners, who are increasingly mobile, and to retain competitors by providing them with the tools necessary for their practice on their smartphone”. But Lionel Maltese, who participated in its development – when he was part of the management team of the FFT -, is already pleading for improvements to be made to this application. “too generalist”.

“The content could be refined by the people who are on the ground, in the clubs, he explains. It would be necessary to adapt the information available to the different target audiences, from lambda players to hopefuls. » And create a version intended for tennis teachers, who would benefit from an incomparable statistical tool.

Identify young talents

The application could then be very useful in the detection of young talents or for entry into the high level. “In French tennis, which benefits from many financial resources, a good portfolio of clubs and good infrastructure, we lack people who observe players and give them advice. There is potential there to provide data to coaches who are not sufficiently digitally trained.continues the specialist.

Philippe Remy, state-certified coach in Tours (Indre-et-Loire), who accompanies young people in competition, would see an interest in it: “Ten’Up is already a step forward, in the sense that it provides information giving a first idea of ​​the value of an opponent, whose performance, ranking history, we can follow. But these remain fairly sketchy. I imagine we could go further. he observes.

These avenues of reflection do not seem to be a priority for the federation, which has restricted the development axes of the platform to the improvement of “user experience” and targeting “of a younger population through the implementation of ‘gamification’ elements, by offering users offers around their homes or by promoting their practice”. And to continue promoting tennis to the general public.


A padel promotion tool

Affiliated to the FFT since 2014, padel has been experiencing a growing craze for several years, which the leaders of French tennis want to intensify. This is why the discipline – such as beach tennis – has been integrated into the Ten’Up application, in order to help users reserve courts, find competitions and support the initiation of newcomers through video tutorials.

→ ANALYSIS. Padel, the young card of tennis

The FFT recently announced the creation of the first “Paris Premier Padel Major”, which will take place from July 11 to 17 at Roland-Garros, and mentioned its intention to create a specific license. In France, there are approximately 280,000 players, including more than 130,000 regular players and nearly 20,000 classified players, divided into 450 clubs offering the discipline.



Tennis: Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, 2nd French winner, announces that he will retire after Roland-Garros

Tennis player Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, former world number 5 and long number 1 French, announced that he would retire this year after Roland-Garros when he turns 37, on April 6 in a video posted social networks.

→ ANALYSIS. Early retirement among athletes: when champions dare to express their weariness

“A few weeks ago I decided that I was going to stop at Roland this year. This will be my 15th Roland”announces the player who has fallen to 220th in the world and who is coming out of four years plagued by injuries.

One of the best Frenchmen of the Open era

Unlike world number 1 Ashleigh Barty, who announced her retirement on March 23, Tsonga’s retirement does not seem anticipated. The French player had been a professional since 2004. He had reached the Australian Open final in 2004, and won the Paris-Bercy Masters in 2008.

He won 18 singles titles during his career. He is one of the best Frenchmen of the Open era, after Yannick Noah, in number of titles won and weeks spent in the world top 10.

His body has given him almost no respite in recent years: in addition to an underlying sickle cell disease (genetic disease affecting red blood cells and causing great fatigue), he suffered from knees, vertebrae and the sacral joint. iliac which calcified, forcing him to retire in the 1st round of the Australian Open in 2020.


Top Stories

How does Hanoi enroll class 10 students in Japanese and French?

Students enrolling in Japanese and French classes are required to learn this foreign language from middle school and take three general exams.

According to the plan of the Department of Education and Training, with 10th grade learn Japanese as a foreign language 1candidates are eligible to apply if they have studied this foreign language in four years of secondary school.

Students are allowed to register up to three aspirations in three public schools in order of preference. In which, aspirations one and two must belong to Chu Van An High School, Kim Lien High School, and Viet Duc High School, because these are the three schools with classes teaching Japanese as a foreign language 1; the remaining aspiration belongs to the candidate’s enrollment area.

In the application form, candidates must choose Japanese in the “Foreign language for high school registration”. However, you can choose the test in any foreign language (English, French, Japanese, German, Korean). If you do not pass the first Japanese language class, you will be considered for admission to the English class at the registered aspirations.

In addition, the city also has eight other public schools that teach Japanese as a second foreign language, including: Phan Dinh Phung, Dong Da, Tran Phu, Viet Duc, Thang Long, Doan Ket – Hai Ba Trung, and Nguyen Gia Thieu. and Phan Huy Chu – Dong Da. To enter Japanese classes at these schools, candidates must pass and confirm their admission to the school’s English class, then apply for a Japanese language course.

With a bilingual French class, in order to be eligible to apply, students must simultaneously ensure four requirements: academic ability, and year-round conduct of each lower secondary school class is not less than good; graduated from high school with good grade or higher; well ranked French bilingual program at the lower secondary level; participate in the entrance exam to the 10th grade of the public non-specialized high school in the school year 2022-2023.

At that time, they were recruited into the 10th class of bilingual French at one of the two Chu Van An high schools, Hanoi – Amsterdam.

Admission score = Total score of three subjects in the 10th grade exam + French language score + Priority score. In which, the Francophone score is the result of the graduation exam of the French bilingual program at the lower secondary level, calculated according to the formula: French x 2 + Math (in French).

In addition, Hanoi also recruited 45 students for the intensive French class at Viet Duc High School. Eligibility requirements are similar to bilingual French, but students are considered to have graduated from average or above with the French Bilingual Program at the lower secondary level.

Candidates take the exam to enter class 10 in Hanoi in 2021. Photo: Giang Huy

Hanoi Department of Education and Training also information about 10th grade enrollment plan with self-financed public high schools and non-public schools. Accordingly, this group of schools is allowed to apply, regardless of the enrollment area.

The criteria used as a basis for admission include: the candidate’s admission score when taking the exam to enter the 10th grade of a public non-specialized high school in the school year 2022-2023l; the results of the students’ training and learning at the lower secondary level (if the committee is saved, the results of the school year will be used again). Particularly, vocational education centers – continuing education only need to rely on the scores of candidates at the lower secondary level.

Students apply for admission to self-financed public schools, non-public schools from April 20 to June 25, admission from July 10-22.

In the school year 2021-2022, Hanoi has about 129,000 students considering graduating from secondary school, an increase of 19,000 compared to last year. In which, about 104,000 children have the opportunity to continue their high school education (77,000 public and 27,000 private). The remaining 25,000 children will enter vocational and continuing education institutions. The time of the 10th grade entrance exam is expected to take place in two days June 18-19.

Thanh Hang



Athletics: Frenchwoman Cyrena Samba-Mayela crowned indoor world champion in the 60m hurdles

The French Cyrena Samba-Mayela was crowned indoor world champion in the 60m hurdles on Saturday March 19 in Belgrade. This is the first podium for the French team since the start of the World Championships on Friday. Samba-Mayela, 21, won in 7 sec 78, a new French record, ahead of Bahamian Devynne Charlton (7 sec 81) and American Gabriele Cunningham (7 sec 87).

A discipline in crisis

Samba-Mayela, one of the greatest hopes of tricolor athletics, won his first medal on the international level. The protege of Teddy Tamgho thus confirms at the highest level a potential glimpsed in the youth categories. The native of Champigny-sur-Marne was indeed vice-world champion among the cadets in 2017 and silver medalist at the Euro juniors in 2021 in the 100m hurdles.

It gives a little balm to the heart to a discipline in the midst of a crisis in France and which has been accumulating poor results for two years (2 medals at the Doha Worlds in 2019, 1 medal at the Tokyo Olympics in 2021).



Football: big clubs are looking for French goalkeepers

To see two French goalkeepers gaze at each other 100 meters apart on either side of a playground, you have to go down the hierarchy of matches. If they are still the heyday of Ligue 2 teams or the bottom of the Ligue 1 table, French goalkeepers are becoming increasingly rare at high level. Gone are the days when the golden generation of Lloris, Coupet, Barthez, and further Lama, held the upper hand in the penalty area of ​​the big teams.

→ ANALYSIS. PSG, one more or too many eliminations?

The flagship teams have holders or even first substitutes born outside our borders. In Paris, an Italian and a Costa Rican fight over the Argentine coach’s good graces. The pattern is identical to Lyon, Nice, and even more so to the reigning French champion, Lille, where the rectangle is defended alternately by a Croatian-Brazilian duo. In Monaco, it is a Pole, a German and an Italian who put on the gloves.

A “general phenomenon”

Half of the goalkeepers during the 27and day thus had a foreign passport, not very far from the record of last November 20 with a score of 14 out of 20 non-national goalkeepers. “Is it any wonder that in a league where owners and coaches are increasingly foreigners, goalkeepers follow suit? We talk about a shortage in France, but the phenomenon is general,” explains Laurent Chatrefoux, responsible for the file at the national technical direction of the French Football Federation.

Except in Germany, where clubs manage to find gloves to their measure at home, the other four major European championships (England, Spain, Italy and France) are experiencing the same fate. “The South Americans are popular, they are cheaper and have arisen thanks to the distribution of videos of their matches around the world”, emphasizes Philippe Bergeroo, former goalkeeper and coach of Paris SG and the French women’s team.

Lack of interest from young players

The word “rating” is well chosen, because football is a globalized market where each player must, in addition to holding his place, promise a nice capital gain on resale. Like Chelsea goalkeeper Édouard Mendy, bought for nothing in Le Havre where he was born, and who today is worth an unexpected fortune. In reality, market observers pay little attention to the performance of goalkeepers during their tours of the field to unearth nuggets. “It’s a very technical position, and they don’t always have the sensitivity and skills to judge. As a result, young talents often pass through the racket,” continues Laurent Chatrefoux.

→ ANALYSIS. Football fan, a family affair?

The French shortage is also explained by a lack of interest from young French players for this position. “Before, we put in the cages those who did not have the qualities to play in the field, continues Philippe Bergeroo. Now, we are training kids capable of reading the game, of throwing with both feet, of cutting trajectories and angles, even of taking penalties. As a result, we find ourselves with young people who play football very well… and who want something other than to keep goals! » Especially since the position of guard is generally paid between 20 and 30% less than the others.

Revised workouts

The Federation has taken the measure of the danger, multiplying awareness-raising actions to attract children to the goals who may one day make the heyday of a big club. “In addition to the technical qualities, we also come up against a size problem, the trend today is for goalkeepers over 1.90 m, this further restricts the sample”, explains Laurent Chatrefoux.

Young people no longer want the fate long reserved for budding porters: very quickly finding themselves face-to-face with a specialized coach who bombards them with shots while the others are having fun on the field. “We cannot ask goalkeepers to participate in the game, to perform well in all areas and leave them out. Today, we recommend a 50/50 split: 50% of specific training time and 50% with the rest of the group,” explains Laurent Chatrefoux, who refuses to indulge in gloom: “We talk about a generational gap, but I think we are exaggerating. We have good goalkeepers in France, even if it must be recognized that there is not abundance… ”


Blue gloves do not work abroad

If foreign goalkeepers are popular in France, the reverse is not true. While France is recognized for its training and places many players in the big European clubs, in particular attackers, French goalkeepers find few takers. Currently, only Hugo Lloris (Tottenham) and his potential successor in the France team Mike Maignan (AC Milan) defend the cages of a major European club. Born on the heights of Le Havre, Chelsea goalkeeper Édouard Mendy is Franco-Senegalese, but defends the colors of Senegal in selection.



First French medals at the Paralympic Winter Games in China

Tricolor skiing made a remarkable entrance at the Paralympic Winter Games, which opened on Friday March 4, and until the 13th, in Beijing and in the surrounding mountains.

It was skier Arthur Bauchet who opened the ball for French medals on Saturday 5 March. The 21-year-old sportsman brought France his first title in the competition, in gold moreover, in the downhill event (standing category).
“It’s crazy! Hearing the Marseillaise, everyone comes for that”rejoiced the young skier, originally from the Var and licensed at the Briançon club (Hautes-Alpes). A great confirmation for the man who is already multiple world ski champion and who won four silver medals at the Pyeongchang Paralympics in 2018.

He is ahead of Austrian Markus Salcher and Swiss Theo Gmueré.

Beginnings in athletics

Downhill still, but in the visually impaired category: a few hours later, another French skier, Hyacinthe Deleplace, won bronze for France. Associated with his guide Valentin Giraud-Moine, the native of Villeurbanne was preceded by the Austrian Johannes Aigner, gold medalist, and the Canadian Mac Marcoux.

“I would have liked to do better. Only, I didn’t put all the ingredients that I could put two days ago (during training). And it feels direct”, reacted Hyacinthe Deleplace after the race. The 32-year-old had won three gold medals at the world championships in Lillehammer this year.

Even if he only reached the third step of the podium, this medal once again confirms the success of his sporting retraining. A specialist in athletics for a long time, he notably won two junior world championship titles in the 100 and 400 meters in 2007. “I started this project [de reconversion] to live those moments. I’m a little disappointed, but happy nonetheless.”he said on Saturday.

At the end of the day on Saturday, China is at the top of the medal list (all metals combined) with 8 titles, followed closely by Ukraine (7 titles). These games are held, like the Olympic Games for able-bodied athletes the previous month, in a health bubble while Beijing applies a zeto-Covid policy.