World Cup 2022: Canadian football in full learning

Little known to the general public, Canadian football nevertheless climbs the ranks from year to year. “With three Canadian teams present in Major League Soccer (the main professional soccer league in North America, editor’s note)we feel that the development of football is booming,” exults Jean-François Téotonio, sports journalist at the French-language daily The Press. It is driven by this positive momentum that the Canadian national team is preparing to start the second World Cup in its history, against Belgium, Wednesday November 23 at 8 p.m.

“The soccer academy has invested, and now we have a pool of interesting young players, book Jean-François Téotonio. At CF Montreal (Canadian elite club, Editor’s note)for example,they hired a sporting director who wanted to completely rethink the club’s philosophy. As a result, it’s a safe bet that we will soon have quite interesting new generations. »

A lack of “football culture”

“If the king sport remains hockeythe number of young football graduates today is higher in our country”, explains for his part Marc Cassivi, journalist and author of My world cups (1). And for good reason, hockey requires significant equipment and financial means where football remains accessible to all.

“Investments have multiplied in recent years. The gymnasiums where young people played football in the winter have given way to football stadiums with synthetic turf,” continues the enthusiast. But the latter points to a paradox: “When I go to the stadium, I see an incredible excitement, but I always come across someone explaining the rules to their neighbour. We lack what is called “football culture”. »

Alphonso Davies, left piston of Bayern Munich, Jonathan David at the forefront of the Lille attack or Atiba Hutchinson, defensive midfielder of Besiktas (one of the great teams of Istanbul), are all names that have recently shone in Europe, giving a spotlight on the Canadian breeding ground. “It contributes to growth, that’s obvious”, believes Jean-François Téotonio. “Before, our rare players who played in Europe were substitutes or luxury supports. Now there are also superstars,” abounds Marc Cassivi.

A test before 2026

What ambition for the competition in Qatar? We will call it reasonable. “With a group made up of Morocco, Belgium and Croatia, you have to be realistic: if we go to eighth, it’s a semi-miracle, having fun Jean-François Téotonio. SIf we put even one goal, it would already be great! »

But the goal goes beyond 2022. In four years, Canada will be one of the host countries, along with the United States and Mexico. “We go to Qatar to learn, observe, acquire the science of football that we lack”, explains Marc Cassivi. During an interview for the newspaper The PressCanada’s coach, Britain’s John Herdman, recalled his mission: “Be ready in 2026.”

If the development of men’s football has been visible in recent years, there is still room for improvement. In Qatar, she will be the only selection not to have a new jersey. “A lack of anticipation from the federation”, argues Jean-François Téotonio.

First emulations, first controversies

Four years is also the time left to settle a financial dispute which is hampering the good development of football. The Canadian federation (Canada Soccer) and its national men’s team were cold in June 2022 due to compensation and transparency issues. Dissatisfied with the salary conditions offered, the internationals then opted for a strike.

They were asking for fair terms with the women’s national team in terms of game-related revenue or percentage of winnings at World Cups. “The relationship has been strained for years. Canada Soccer disrespects our team and undermines our efforts to raise standards and advance soccer in Canada,” the players had thus declared, last June, in a press release.

In a country where football has long been worn by women, the men’s selection is meeting with increasingly popular success, at the same time as it experiences its first areas of turbulence. Undoubtedly proof of a mutation in progress.


Canada-Belgium, a very unbalanced opposition

In business since 1912Canada’s team ranks 41st in the FIFA rankings. His opponent of the day, Belgium, semi-finalist of the Russian World Cup in 2018, ranks 2nd.

The Canadian “Canucks” have only encountered the Red Devils once. In 1989, Belgium won this friendly match (2-0).

It is only the second participation of Canada at a World Cup, after that of 1986. In Mexico, Canada had been eliminated in the first round, without garnering points in the group stage. The country had notably met France and lost (1-0).



Tokyo Games: Paralympism in full swing

In the spotlight, the Paralympic Games continue to conquer the general public in Tokyo. In France, France Télévisions has programmed around a hundred hours of live broadcast, a record for this competition founded in the shadows sixty years ago. Indeed, media coverage and audiences are increasing around the world, despite remaining exposure. “Far below the media coverage of the Olympic Games”, according to Valentine Duquesne, researcher for the French Paralympic and Sports Committee (CPSF).

→ READ. Tokyo Olympics: Paralympic Games behind closed doors

President of the French Handisport Federation (FFH) for twenty-seven years (1980-2007), André Auberger measures how far he has come since the first Paralympic Games in Rome, in 1960. In particular thanks to the support, in the 1990s, of Juan Antonio Samaranch, President of the International Olympic Committee from 1980 to 2021: “I knew the time when only a dozen countries were concerned. Apart from the United States, Great Britain and France, which dominated the competitions, the Paralympics did not interest anyone ”, observes the 83-year-old former leader.

This summer in Japan, there will be more than 130 delegations. Since the early 2000s, Australia, Brazil, Russia, South Africa, Russia and Ukraine have redoubled their efforts to catch up, becoming the new strongholds of Paralympism.

England, cradle of Paralympism

The “historic” turning point dates back to the London Games in 2012. “By succeeding in its Games, England has in a way become the cradle of Paralympism, the equivalent of what Greece represents for Olympism”, compares André Auberger. The English organizers, very proactive, have helped to change mentalities, adds Valentine Duquesne, “Thanks to an ambitious communication campaign by assimilating the bodies of these athletes to those of superheroes”.

This image “Ultra-technologist” has fundamentally changed the way the competitors look at them, “Perceived as full-fledged athletes, which was not really the case before”, notes the doctoral student in sociology of sport. A surge of sympathy that was reflected in the figures. Channel 4 had broadcast 150 hours of programs, reaching 39.9 million people, or 69% of the population. “

Reserved at the beginning of its history for athletes in wheelchairs and war disabled, the competition has gradually opened up to people with physical and cerebral disabilities, amputees, the visually impaired, as well as – more recently and to a lesser extent – people with mental disabilities. Spectacular new disciplines have emerged which are part of the growing interest of the public: from wheelchair rugby, as a demonstration sport in Sidney in 2000, to para-badminton and para-taekwondo this year.

A stake in attractiveness

Nothing seems able to slow down this forward march. Especially since the public’s enthusiasm for the Paralympics is above all “Worn by young people”, rejoices Valentine Duquesne. Quite the opposite of the evolution of the Olympic Games, which try by all means to stem the disinterest of the under 30s by introducing new popular disciplines (hip-hop, skateboarding and perhaps e-sport) .

This is what has led certain nations – like China – to develop very offensive strategies, “In a spirit of performance at all costs, recognizes Valentine Duquesne. The competition, exponential, has only really existed since 2008-2012. There are still niches which offer them the possibility of obtaining medals and the opportunity to make their country shine in front of the whole world ”.

This boom should not, however, mask the daily reality of parasport disciplines. With the exception of England, Canada, Australia and the Scandinavian countries, national and international competitions are still too confidential.


The scope of the competition is widening

138 nations will be represented at the Tokyo Paralympic Games. In 1960, only 23 nations were present with 400 athletes against 4,400 athletes this year.

22 disciplines are concerned, including two new ones: para-badminton and para-taekwondo, and a total of 539 events, at 43 Olympic venues.

With 153 participants in 19 disciplines, France is 8e in the ranking of the number of representatives per nation, far behind Japan (259 athletes), China (255) and Russia (246).

In Rio in 2016, the tricolor delegation (12e in the medal ranking) collected 28 medals including 9 in gold, 5 in silver and 14 in bronze.



Sailing: “The Atlantic in troubled waters”, thriller in the open sea

The association of medical writers has a new member, working on an unexpected operating field, far from the stories of medical offices that are the ordinary of the association. Doctor Jean-Yves Chauve, official doctor for many major ocean races, including the Vendée Globe, has chosen to dip his pen in an ocean tinged with black. He drew a thriller about offshore sailing, a universe usually more conducive to adventure stories than news items.

The book begins with a drama that has nothing to do with the land police, since it is about the shipwreck of Manu, competitor in a race around the world alone. This race started from England, but any resemblance to the Vendée event is anything but fortuitous. In this first part of the story, we find everything that makes the event so great, starting with the most difficult: finding the financial means to live out your dream and… leave. The hero sacrificed everything, including his couple, to weigh anchor and his entire life sinks with his boat.

→ MAINTENANCE. Damien Seguin: “On the Vendée Globe boats, we are all disabled”

The thriller chapter begins several hundred miles away, aboard another rather slow sailboat, with strange stopovers. The last one led the skipper to embark a passenger in the Azores, just to share the last edges, before an arrival in Brittany which promises to be stormy for reasons that we can glimpse little by little, as this ill-matched crew gets closer. of its destination.

An enigmatic skipper

Their budding relationship is soon tinged with suspicion, as the young woman discovers inconsistencies between the speech and the ship’s logbook. What is hiding this mysterious sailor who seems to be much more than a simple skipper conveyor of sailboats belonging to yachtsmen too old to face the Atlantic? What do those brown spots at the bottom of a bunk mean? And why the skipper simulates deafness vis-à-vis the distress signal emanating from a racing sailboat?

We will not say more so as not to reveal the author’s batteries, who had fun imagining marine twists that make this original thriller a very pleasant moment to read. Regulars of the genre will find their account there, as will sailing and ocean racing enthusiasts. This little-known universe is meticulously described there, without giving in too much to the mania for unnecessary detail: bad weather fortunes, mechanical problems, health problems, difficult choices of course, everything is there, without heaviness. Obviously, it does not end well for everyone, but it is the common law of sport and thriller.

→ PODCAST. Isabelle Autissier: “When sailing, superstition is never far away”



Rugby World Cup 2023: the full schedule of matches

A dream poster to begin with. During the 2023 Rugby World Cup, the XV of France will be under pressure from the outset: the Blues will begin with an already eagerly awaited shock against the New Zealand All Blacks, on September 8 at the Stade de France, according to the schedule of the competition unveiled Friday February 26. Placed in pool A, the Blues will also face a qualifier from the America zone on September 14 in Lille, then that of the Africa zone on September 21 in Marseille. Before finishing in Lyon, on October 6, against Italy.

→ THE FACTS. Rugby World Cup 2023: the “Blacks” for the Blues

For their part, the South African title holders will launch their campaign in front of Scotland on September 10 at the Stade Vélodrome in Marseille. The teammates of Cheslin Kolbe and Siya Kolisi will also cross swords with Ireland on September 23 at the Stade de France while the duel between the two Celtic neighbors will take place in the Dionysian enclosure on October 7.

Rugby World Cup 2023: the full schedule of matches

In Pool D, England will find Argentina on September 9, which the XV de la Rose had chewed without batting an eyelid (39-10) during the group stage in 2019, and Japan, the last host of the World Cup. Finally, the Fijians will have a lot to do in Group C, with Wales, which they challenge on September 10 in Bordeaux, and Australia on September 17 in Saint-Étienne.

In total, forty-eight matches will be played in nine host cities (Saint-Denis, Marseille, Nice, Lille, Toulouse, Lyon, Bordeaux, Saint-Étienne, Nantes). The ticket office will be open mid-March. The final is scheduled for October 28, at the Stade de France.

The full schedule for the 2023 World Cup in France (September 8-October 28):

♦ POOL A (New Zealand, France, Italy, qualified zone America 1, qualified zone Africa 1)

08/09 in Saint Denis (Stade de France) France – New Zealand

09/09 in Saint-Étienne (Stade Geoffroy-Guichard) Italy – Africa 1

09/14 in Lille (Pierre-Mauroy Stadium) France – America 1

09/15 in Toulouse (Stadium) New Zealand – Africa 1

09/20 in Nice (Stade Riviera) Italy – America 1

09/21 in Marseille (Stade Vélodrome) France – Africa 1

09/27 in Lyon (Stade des Lumières) America 1 – Africa 1

09/29 in Lyon (Stade des Lumières) New Zealand – Italy

05/10 in Lyon (Stade des Lumières) New Zealand – America 1

06/10 in Lyon (Stade des Lumières) France – Italy

POOL B (South Africa, Ireland, Scotland, qualified Asia / Pacific zone 1, qualified zone Europe 2)

09/09 in Bordeaux (Stade Atlantique) Ireland – Europe 2

10/09 in Marseille (Stade Vélodrome) South Africa – Scotland

09/16 in Nantes (Stade de la Beaujoire) Ireland – Asia / Pacific 1

09/17 in Bordeaux (Stade Atlantique) South Africa – Europe 2

09/23 in Saint-Denis (Stade de France) South Africa – Ireland

24/09 in Nice (Stade Riviera) Scotland – Asia / Pacific 1

09/30 in Lille (Stade Pierre-Mauroy) Scotland – Europe 2

01/10 in Marseille (Stade Vélodrome) South Africa – Asia / Pacific 1

07/10 in Saint-Denis (Stade de France) Ireland – Scotland

08/10 in Lille (Pierre-Mauroy Stadium) Asia / Pacific 1 – Europe 2

♦ POOL C (Wales, Australia, Fiji, qualified Europe 1, winner of the final qualifying round)

09/09 in Saint-Denis (Stade de France) Australia – Europe 1

10/09 in Bordeaux (Stade Atlantique) Wales – Fiji

16/09 in Nice (Stade Riviera) Wales – TQF winner

09/17 at Saint-Étienne (Geoffroy-Guichard Stadium) Australia – Fiji

23/09 at Toulouse (Stadium) Europe 1 – winner TQF

24/09 in Lyon (Stade des Lumières) Wales – Australia

09/30 in Bordeaux (Stade Atlantique) Fiji – Europe 1

01/10 at Saint-Étienne (Stade Geoffroy-Guichard) Australia – TQF winner

07/10 in Nantes (Stade de la Beaujoire) Wales – Europe 1

08/10 at Toulouse (Stadium) Fiji – TQF winner

♦ POOL D (England, Japan, Argentina, qualified Oceania zone 1, qualified America zone 2)

09/09 in Marseille (Stade Vélodrome) England – Argentina

10/09 in Toulouse (Stadium) Japan – America 2

09/16 in Bordeaux (Stade Atlantique) Oceania 1 – America 2

09/17 in Nice (Stade Riviera) England – Japan

09/22 in Saint-Étienne (Stade Geoffroy-Guichard) Argentina – Oceania 1

23/09 in Lille (Pierre-Mauroy Stadium) England – America 2

09/28 in Toulouse (Stadium) Japan – Oceania 1

09/30 in Nantes (Stade de la Beaujoire) Argentina – America 2

07/10 in Lille (Stade Pierre-Mauroy) England – Oceania 1

08/10 in Nantes (Stade de la Beaujoire) Japan – Argentina

♦ Quarter-finals

14/10 in Marseille (Stade Vélodrome) 1st pool C – 2nd pool D

10/14 at Saint-Denis (Stade de France) 1st pool B – 2nd pool A

10/15 in Marseille (Stade Vélodrome) 1st pool D – 2nd pool C

10/15 at Saint-Denis (Stade de France) 1st pool A – 2nd pool B

♦ Semi-finals

20/10 at Saint-Denis (Stade de France) winner QF 1 – winner QF 2

10/21 at Saint-Denis (Stade de France) winner QF 3 – winner QF 4

♦ Match for the 3e square

27/10 at Saint-Denis (Stade de France) losing SF 1 – losing SF 2

♦ Final

28/10 at Saint-Denis (Stade de France) winner SF 1 – winner SF 2