Le Graët, Laporte… How to change the governance of sports federations?

► “The rather conservative world of sport is difficult to move”

William Gaspariniprofessor of sociology and sports sciences at the University of Strasbourg, specialist in sports governance

“The difficulties experienced by Presidents Noël Le Graët and Bernard Laporte in their football and rugby federations obviously raise the question of the evolution of governance within these institutions. But it is a cyclic questioning. In 2021, the renewal of presidents after the pandemic had already been the subject of a debate on the age of leaders and feminization… which had not prevented the broad re-election of Noël Le Graët, at 79 years old. The average age of sports leaders is still 64, although some federations have experienced a slight rejuvenation. In the end, there are only two women presidents out of 36 Olympic federations.

The question of the opacity of decision-making also comes up often, as does the absence of a limit to the number of terms served by the same president. These managerial techniques from another age appear to be out of step with the needs of more modern governance. The methods of internal appointment are also to be reviewed, because the elections often reveal a formal democracy, theoretical more than real. The cooptation system generally lacks transparency. In a general assembly of a departmental or regional committee, elected by the clubs, we often always find the same people, those who have time and are retired, out of step with the mass of young graduates. But without them, often volunteers, it must also be emphasized that the associative movement would not work.

Can the state reform this governance? We see it with the Le Graët case, he can actually demand accountability, since it is the State which delegates public service to the federations. But the latter are also very attentive to their autonomy and the State cannot interfere too much in their affairs. Above all, he cannot afford a general crisis with the sports movement within two years of the Olympic Games. In the case of football, the ministry is therefore calling on the authorities to move, in this case the executive committee of the federation, but I do not believe that the government is ready to go further.

He knows, however, that France is also watched with the organization of the Rugby World Cup in 2023 and the Games in Paris in 2024, and therefore he cannot let the image of sport continue to deteriorate. But the ridge line is hard to find. The rather conservative sports world is difficult to move. Ideally, the reform should come from the base, from athletes and clubs. But sport is not the sector of commitment and activism. So I don’t really believe it. »

► “The State cannot intervene in the internal management of a federation”

Bernard FoucherDoctor of Laws and President of the Federal Ethics Committee for French Rugby

“You have to keep in mind that the federations are associations under the 1901 law. The French Football Federation has its statutes, its members, like any association. The difficulty is that sport is a public service, which therefore comes under state management. The latter delegates its power to the federations, but retains a right of inspection, a power of supervision. The whole ambiguity is knowing how to combine the autonomy of associations and the powers that the state has. I believe that the difficulty lies in this duality.

The State officially recognizes associations and federations through approvals and delegations. It can impose a common framework so that the statutes of the federations conform to a standard statute. And, to obtain the delegation and the approval, it is necessary that the statutes are in conformity with the standard statute which the State imposes. The only thing that the State can do is therefore withdraw the approval and consider that the federation it wishes to sanction is no longer recognized as the depository of the right conferred on it by the State. But doing that is the atomic bomb assured. Furthermore, the State cannot intervene in the internal management of a federation. Only members of the federation can.

The law of March 2, 2022, aimed at democratizing sport in France, sought to impose more democratic governance on federations through these standard statutes. In particular with a limitation of mandates, the creation of ethics committees or the prevention of conflicts of interest. The federations are brought, if they want to preserve their approval, to be always in conformity with their statute.

Furthermore, each federation can adopt its own provisions without waiting for the law. There are systems that preceded what the law of 2022 imposed in terms of prevention. In the event of a problem, the ethics committee could intervene, but it all depends on how it works, which is specific to each federation. Regarding the rugby ethics committee, we do not have the possibility of making binding decisions. What we can do is give opinions, recommendations, injunctions, like asking someone to step back. You can also go to the Disciplinary Committee.

This is a real subject and it is an object of reflection with the State and the Minister of Sports: how to improve the functioning and the role of the ethics committees? The law made these mandatory in 2022, but how are they made? Are they really independent, with a minimum of power? It varies a lot from one federation to another. »



How ski resorts are coping with the energy crisis

Slowing down the speed of chairlifts, training device pilots in eco-driving, increasing the price of ski passes, etc. “These are the choices we had to make to try to offset, in part, the rise in energy prices! »confides Didier Bobillier, president of the Company of ski lifts of the areas of Les Ménuires-Saint-Martin-de-Belleville (Savoie).

After two years marked by the Covid-19 pandemic, ski resorts are in turn faced with the new equation: soaring electricity prices, which represent between 3 and 5% of their expenses, mainly for operation. chairlifts, gondolas, drag lifts and the production of artificial snow. The megawatt-hour produced has gone from €50 in 2019 to nearly €550 at the end of 2022.

Increase in reservations

While the ski season is about to be launched – Val Thorens (Savoie) opens the ball on Saturday November 26 – the resorts remain confident: despite inflation, they have recorded a 7% increase in reservations to date compared to last year, and prices stabilized when some had to renew their electricity contracts (the MWh had reached €1,000 in August before falling again).

“The domains are therefore finally guaranteed to be able to open, explains Laurent Reynaud, general delegate of Domaines skiables de France. But the objective of sobriety set by the government and the need to absorb a bill that promises to be particularly high require everyone to put in place an adaptation strategy. »

Chairlifts in slow motion

The majority of resorts have opted to slow down the ski lifts, by training drivers or using new automatic systems. “The objective is to save money without altering the customer’s experience: this corresponds, for example, to an additional minute on a journey of 7 or 8 minutes”, says Didier Bobillier.

A choice to which is added a series of efforts declined by the resorts: work on the cabins of the professionals at the bottom of the slopes, where better insulation can be installed, a set of sensors cutting off the heating when the door is open, de-icing systems to optimize device performance, on-site renewable energy production, etc. “Some of these measures were included in the base of eco-commitments put in place several years ago, recalls Laurent Reynaud, but we must accelerate them to achieve at least a 10% reduction in our consumption. »

Increase in package prices

Other strategies will probably be more noticeable to tourists, in the midst of inflation, such as the increase in the price of ski passes: in the 3 Valleys area, the increase is around 9%, bringing the price of a day of skiing , for a single adult, at €72, Val Thorens offering €63, and Les Ménuires €58. “But it’s much less than imagined and it concerns only a few areas, because the majority voted their tariffs earlier in the year, indexing them only to inflation”would like to remind Jean-Luc Boch, President of the National Association of Mayors of Mountain Resorts and Mayor of La Plagne.

In the Pyrenees, the more fragile areas have opted for a reduction in services: in Puigmal, the ski lifts will remain shut down on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays, outside school holidays. The Peyragudes resort is shortening its season: it will close from March 26, 2023, instead of the beginning of April.

“There is still a gap to be filled”

Will the situation be further aggravated by weather conditions? The first snowflakes, which fell in small quantities, have melted due to the return of mild weather, which has forced Val Thorens to postpone its opening and the cold and dry winter that is coming could not be favorable for good snow cover.

However, the production of artificial snow is also a high item of energy expenditure. Resorts prefer to see it as another optimization lever, thanks to snow groomers equipped with GPS or snow depth sensors, as in Les Orres, and the renewal of equipment to reduce air consumption, and therefore energy.

Stations will lose money

Jean-Luc Bloch, who recalls that local authorities also do their share of the work on consumption, estimates that 30% of stations are not really secure: “They will open in satisfactory conditions for tourists, but they will lose money. » And Laurent Reynaud to complete: “We can see more clearly than at the end of the summer and we can already say that the objective of sobriety will be achieved, but there is still a gap to be filled: we are waiting for the government to decide on specific support for struggling ski resorts. »


The French ski area

France has 320 stationsor sitesalpine and nordic skiing. They are spread over seven mountain ranges: Northern Alps, Southern Alps, Massif Central, Vosges, Jura, Pyrenees, Corsica.

the turnover in 2021-2022 for the top 100 French ski resorts amounted to 1.6 billion euros, according to the magazine’s annual survey Mountain Leaders.

9% of the French population goes downhill skiing, snowboarding or ski touring every winter. The French Ski Federation has 106,000 members.



Euro 2022: how England became a stronghold of women’s football

Whatever the outcome of the first semi-final between England and Sweden, this Tuesday July 26 (9 p.m.) in Sheffield (United Kingdom), the Women’s Football Euro organized this year on English lawns will mark certainly a victory for the host country. From its first matches spent to crush Norway (8-0) or Northern Ireland (5-0), until a possible final in the mythical enclosure of Wembley (90,000 seats), Sunday July 31, the “Lionesses” have always sold out at this European Championship.

A sign that in the country where modern football was born, supporters only ask to live to the rhythm of the round ball, whether it is led on the field by a man or a woman. Never deprived of emotion by the first, in club as in selection, where the players had reached the final of the last men’s Euro a year ago, the fans have long been chomping at the bit when it comes to women’s football.

The fault, in part, of the Football Association (FA), the English football federation, which prohibited women from practicing this sport considered dangerous for their health, from the 1920s until the 1970s. And despite a first Women’s Euro at low resonance organized on English soil in the summer of 2005, the discipline is left in the lurch by the institutions, which regard it above all as an adjustment variable when concluding budgets. Already alerted by the good results of its selection at the 2015 World Cup, finished in third place, the federation changes foot when the award of Euro 2021 looms (finally postponed to 2022 due to the Covid-19 pandemic) , which she will pocket.

Major reform of the national championship

A major reform was launched five years ago, “which mainly concerns the development of Women’s Super League (WSL), the English national championship, notes sports economist Luc Arrondel, a specialist in women’s football. A championship had been present since the 1990s and had become a little more structured in a semi-professional way from 2011, but it was disputed in the summer period, therefore with very little visibility. » The 2017 growth plan begins the process of professionalisation: independent governance of women’s football is established at the FA and the twelve clubs which are granted a professional license must pay their players at least sixteen hours a week and acquire of a women’s section for their training centre.

The vast majority of clubs rely on the facilities of their men’s section, which most often play in the Premier League, the English first division, although the women have their own stadium. “We have two assistants, a mental coach (…), two physiotherapists, a masseur, a doctor. The staffs are a little wider (just in France) and then, in terms of infrastructure, we are in a huge center. We have three gyms, an indoor synthetic pitch. It’s England, what! », recently enthused French international Kenza Dali, today at Everton after moving to Londoners West Ham, quoted by Agence France-Presse.

The reform also concerned the very form of the championship, where the number of clubs relegated to the lower level at the end of the season was reduced. “The WSL is more closed, which has brought more stability for the clubs and strengthened their competitiveness”, notes Luc Arrondel, especially, he specifies, that “The players of the English national team receive a significant income to remain playing in the English championship” and that foreign players have had more difficulty settling in the United Kingdom since Brexit, thus favoring the emergence of young English talent.

Growing attendance, flooding sponsors

While the level of play has logically progressed, crowds have followed in the stadiums, filled on average with a few thousand supporters before the start of the health crisis. A push that prompted the influx of sponsors and the arrival for three years of broadcasters such as the Sky Sports channel and the BBC, for the record sum of 8.1 million euros since the start of the 2021 school year, three times higher than the rights television stations of the French first division. “Contrary to what is usually practiced, this media coverage and these cash inflows are the consequence of an almost political reform of English football”, emphasizes Luc Arrondel.

With the European Championship, English football intends to strengthen its self-sufficiency for the coming seasons. Our objective is twofold: to organize a record tournament and leave a tangible legacy to develop women’s football.”advanced ahead of the event Sue Campbell, director of women’s football at the English federation, in remarks taken up by the British daily The Guardian. The Euro, like every major competition, could in particular promote an additional jump in vocations, and would make it possible to retain the public across the Channel for good. The condition for the progress of English women’s football to be reflected next season at club level on the European scene, still in difficulty on their side against their French, Spanish or German neighbors.



How the Tour de France strives to constantly revive its legend

The Tour rewinds, always and more. His hours of glory, his legend that he never stops telling. The day before yesterday, it was back to 1986. The Col du Granon like thirty-six years earlier, when Bernard Hinault gave up his last yellow tunic to his American successor Greg LeMond. The same were summoned to L’Alpe d’Huez this Thursday, July 14, the day’s stage reproducing very exactly that where the two teammates arrived at the top of the mythical 21 laces hand in hand, Hinault confirming the transfer of power, one of the greatest moments in the history of the Tour de France.

It is the memory of another famous episode which is reactivated this Saturday, July 16, with the 14e stage linking Saint-Étienne to Mende, in the heart of Lozère. This simple title instantly sends lovers of the little queen back to the year 1995. On July 14, exactly, the day when King Miguel Indurain wavered on his throne as the future five-time winner of the Grande Boucle. The fault of a certain Laurent Jalabert, author of an exceptional fireworks display for the National Day. A long-distance breakaway of 198 km with a handful of hungry adventurers, who would count up to 10 minutes and 50 seconds ahead of the peloton. Suffice to say that the Frenchman was a yellow jersey for a while.

“It is important to know where you come from”

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t dream ithe agreed after the finish. But we would have had to increase our lead to fifteen minutes.. In advance, he did not have enough, but panache, yes, to spare. In the last 3 km climb, the Tarnais tore away to sow his epic companions and win one of the greatest victories of his career by crossing the line more than five minutes before the leaders. Ten years later, the climb of his feat in Mende could be renamed “Montée Jalabert”.

While all sports have had a great time in recent years spinning the nostalgic merry-go-round, cycling has won the pompom. Giving in to “it was better before”? ” No wayassures Christian Prudhomme, the director of the Tour. We certainly make many tributes and other anniversaries, but it is because I consider it important to know where we come from, especially in a period when memory seems to be erased at very high speed. Telling is also transmitting, and I want to. »

“Seduce the older generations”

An interest also underlined by Jean-François Mignot, sociologist author in 2014 of a History of the Tourof France (1): “The Tour is a show that is often watched as a family, and the reference to yesterday’s stages makes it possible to seduce the older generations, who can pass the torch to the new ones. This dimension of the television show is essential: the stages are long and not always much happens. The legend of the Tour is a reservoir of easy-to-use anecdotes, like the history of France with all the heritage content of the broadcasts. It is the almost indispensable coating of the race. »

If recourse to the glorious era seems more important today than yesterday, it is perhaps also that the years of doping and the suspicion that still lurks prevent total adherence to today’s heroes. “Comparing current runners to great elders helps to establish their present aura, to include them in an ongoing story”, continues Jean-François Mignot. Stages as whirlwind as that of the Granon this Wednesday, with the surging attacks of the Jumbo-Visma team ending up exhausting Tadej Pogacar, too isolated, to put the yellow jersey on the shoulders of the Dane Jonas Vingegaard, reveal new high chapters in colour.

Reviving the legend

Imperishable Tour de France? “Perhaps the International Cycling Union and the organizer ASO should still review their formula, which has been available for ages without much change.judge the historian and sociologist Philippe Gaboriau. Like the Dakar, the Tour remains a mechanical epic with traveling shots over beautiful landscapes and does not say much about what the bicycle is today, a mobility tool in a society that must think about energy sobriety. The legend is obviously not dead, but it needs to be revived, in my opinion. Because otherwise, the Tour risks no longer being in tune with the times. »

A subject of reflection, no doubt, for its organizers. The departure from Denmark this year, a country that worships two-wheelers in all its forms, may be a sign of a change of gear. To confirm.


Saint-Étienne, cycling history at its heart

Saint-Étienne is the arrival town of the 13e stage which starts from Bourg-d’Oisans, this Friday July 15 (192 km). The Loire prefecture, visited for the 27e times since 1950, is a regular on the Tour. It was in this historic city of cycling that the first French bicycle was born in 1886, very quickly mass-produced by the ancestor of Manufrance under the Hirondelle brand. The adventure lasted until the end of the 1970s, when local manufacturing died out in the face of Asian competition. Saint-Étienne remains the only city, with the metropolis of Toulon, labeled “Land of cycling excellence” by the French Cycling Federation. The now repeated hope of the current mayor, Gaël Perdriau: one day to host a Grand Départ of the Tour.

(Archives – Video of 03/07/2017)



How drones revolutionized mountain films

Lying on the right of his skis, a swerve to the left, stepping over some fir trees, before paragliding towards the rocks of the Morzines canyon then flying over a block of chalets… Filmed with a drone, the sequence no longer only offers to be seen the descent of speed rider French Valentin Delluc but turns into a substitute for thrills. The clip, promoted by the RedBull brand two years ago, left its mark on the world of film and mountain sports documentaries, gathered this week at the Chamonix festival, which ends on Saturday June 18.

For its second edition, the majority of the 38 films screened again relied on this technology. It has become ” an addiction “, confirms Thomas Guerrin, 34-year-old drone pilot and director, who this year presented a film on the history of the high mountain guides of Chamonix, a city-temple of French mountaineering. Because if the traditional helicopter has long made it possible to capture the best aerial shots, racing drones – or so-called FPV drones (First Person View) – have revolutionized the discipline.

contact and distance

“It brought something that we were incapable of: an immersion closer to performance and the ability, at the same time, to move away from the athlete very quickly to return to the landscape”, notes Maxime Moulin, documentary filmmaker for ten years, the arrival of the first drones on the market. With a camera on board the athlete and an aerial drone “which, on the other hand, gives the outside point of view, to also allow yourself long poetic shots, you can tell everything there is to tell without being present on the stage of the performance”, complete Thomas Guerrin.

The drones had however arrived in the mountains with a bad reputation: too intrusive, even risky, as when a machine had crashed on the slope in full descent of the alpine skier Marcel Hirscher, landing a few decimeters from the Austrian, in 2015. The specter of the accident forced the legislation to thicken, in particular for the overflight of dwellings, imposing an authorization from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on the teams which pilot them up to 4 km away . “Depending on what we want to do, we cannot film certain parts of the mountain, the helicopter cannot be replaced, even if it also represents a greater environmental cost”explains Maxime Moulin.

Technology versus creativity?

In addition to a reduced cost, accessible to novices in mountain film, drones have reduced the risk-taking on set, for directors and for the athletes themselves – mountaineers in mind – by allowing more precise identification of less accessible climbing areas.

With the fear, however, of a standardization of films, tempted to overexploit these aerial images to the point of caricature. “We have in fact been witnessing for 10 years a standardization in the ways of filming. With drones, filming times are also reducednotes Steve Scott, director of the Kendal mountain film festival in the United Kingdom and member of the jury this year in Chamonix. To regain creativity, directors must learn to use them sparingly. »



How the Deep Blue-Kasparov Match Changed Chess

Checks, some checkmate, the computer programs had already inflicted on the wood pushers. Before encouraging the highest figures to be modest, such as the Russian world champions Anatoli Karpov and Garry Kasparov in the early 1990s, taking advantage of the advantage offered by fast game formats. But when the Deep Blue supercomputer brings down the second, the world chessboard changes, on May 11, 1997, twenty-five years ago in New York. On usual ground, the Ogre of Baku had promised, “no computer (the) will beat(it) ».

→ REREAD. In chess, is man doomed to lose against computers?

For the first time in the history of this millennial game, invested by the machine forty years earlier, the best program of the time – perfected by the care of IBM after being corrected by the same Kasparov – came to the end in the long game of the best player of the moment, still considered one of the most innovative champions in the discipline. “Not a turning point, but a starting point”, observes Fabien Libiszewski, a 38-year-old French international grandmaster.

A victory that catalyzes the research of programmers

If the match does not revolutionize the way of playing, it catalyzes the research of programmers. The databases soon expand to completeness, allowing both to democratize the game and to perfect the preparation of professionals. Because where a human touch still surfaced under the microprocessors of Deep Blue, the new programs are no longer turned towards a single goal: calculation, in the absence of play.

→ PORTRAIT. The day when “I understood that we could play chess in Morse code”

“We often play by intuition, suspecting that our move is not bad, but without knowing if it is the right one, since we are not able to calculate far enough to know if this estimate will always be valid any longer. late in the game. Not computers, which can therefore play moves that are at first sight illogical to a human eye”, explains Fabien Libiszewski.

For a player, whose strength lies more in memory than pure talent, the most accomplished analysis engines offer valuable insight into openings, those first moves that will determine the geometry of the game. Like “every player from the 1990s before Deep Blue”Éloi Relange, rising star of French chess at the time of Kasparov’s defeat, thus used the computer in his preparations, “but just to check (if he had) made no tactical error. Today, with the help of artificial intelligence, the best use it to come up with ideas that will surprise their opponent,” slips the international grandmaster, who has become president of the French Chess Federation.

The risk of smoothing the game

Shared on screens, game analyzes have gradually crossed borders. Until reaching Norway and watering the undisputed world champion for almost a decade, Magnus Carlsen. “Players can build themselves by finding opponents around the world to start and rework their games or those of others to progress”, says Fabien Libiszewski. With the risk, too, of smoothing the game, by losing in creativity what they gain in theoretical knowledge.

Observers were able to observe this, in part, during the last final of the 2021 world championship, where Carlsen broke away from the Russian Ian Nepomniachtchi, coached by one of the fastest supercomputers in the world, after five sterile and stereotyped first attempts. “It has become very hard to surprise them in the openings, it is true, but Carlsen remains extraordinary because he does not attempt an ace but continues to use it to start the game and make the difference afterwards, like at the bottom of the tennis court, remarks Éloi Relange. Way to say that Deep Blue beat Kasparov without killing the spirit of the game.



Football: how the Premier League tries to end violence

During the final of the European Football Championship between England and Italy on July 11, violence and racism made a resounding return on the international sports scene. Viewers and journalists were shocked to see unusual images in the final of a major competition: clashes with the police – which resulted in 49 arrests – and even a group of around 20 people without tickets forcing passage through the enclosure athletic.

The gloomy images were followed by racist attacks on the perpetrators of the missed penalties by the England team, Marcus Rashford, Jadon Sancho and Bukayo Saka. UEFA, which manages European sports competitions, did not appreciate it: on October 18, it fined the English federation € 100,000 and ordered the England team to play their next home match. in camera.

Violence has disappeared from the screens

Hooliganism, nicknamed “English disease” in the 1960s, would he be back? Not in the Premier League, the showcase of English football, from which it has been largely eradicated. “For a long time, football clubs and authorities considered hooliganism to be a social problem disconnected from football. But the creation of the Premier League by the Sky channel in 1992 changed this approach: the Premier League had to become commercially attractive. Violence therefore had to disappear from the screens ”, recounts John Williams, a sociologist at the University of Leicester and specialist in hooliganism.

→ ANALYSIS Violence between supporters: how to better prevent it?

At the time, those in charge of the new championship used many levers to change the composition of the supporters of the participating clubs. Obligation to have a seat, but allocated randomly, which made it impossible for supporters to meet by affinity; higher ticket prices to keep young people out; ban on obtaining a ticket for an away match without being a subscriber but above all the deployment of surveillance cameras in stadiums and impressive police or security forces.

The results are in. In ten years, arrests in stadiums or on the sidelines of matches have been divided by three, from 3,089 in the five divisions in 2010-2011 to 1,089 during the 2019-2020 season. Stadium bans were halved, from 3,174 to 1,621, including 453 in the Premier League.

The middle classes in the stadiums

This very expensive groundwork made it possible to attract the middle classes, an older population and families, to the point of transforming the Premier League into a luxury product. This has greatly tempered the atmosphere of most elite stadiums, deplore some observers. “When the PSG supporters came to Liverpool in 2019 with their club during a meeting, all the elders like me remembered our youth”, remembers the sociologist, who is also a supporter, with a certain nostalgia: “This craze, this noise, this fury, they were formidable! “

However, these measures were never applied in the lower divisions. “They are much more free, less regulated, less supervised, assures John Williams. Violence therefore persists more. “

Racism that endures

As for racism, however, it has not disappeared from the Premier League, even if it is becoming more discreet and severity is also required. During the 2019-2020 season, several black players complained of being victims of monkey cries, especially in the stadiums of Tottenham, Aston Villa, Chelsea, Arsenal and Manchester City. A City supporter accused during a meeting with Manchester United has been given a three-year stadium ban.

“Racism is found even in the sports media”, notes Paul Campbell, also a sociologist at the University of Leicester. Together with colleagues, he analyzed journalists’ comments on BBC and ITV TV channels in 20 of the 2018 World Cup matches. They found a glaring difference in treatment: “70% of the positive comments about black players spoke of their physical ability, 10% of their natural abilities, 10% of their abilities related to their training and learning. For white players, 50% concerned their learning, 18% their physical strength and 8% their natural aptitudes. “


In France, proposals expected in two weeks

A meeting was held at the Ministry of the Interior, urgently, Tuesday, November 23, in response to the excesses of supporters in football stadiums, in the presence of the ministers of justice and sports, representatives of the Football League professional and Federation, as well as some club leaders.

→ ANALYSIS. Football: against overflows in stadiums, rules that are too vague

At the end of this meeting, Gerald Darmanin assured that measures would be announced in two weeks. “We have agreed to work together on four subjects”, detailed the Minister of the Interior. The prohibition of stadiums for some supporters, their security (cameras, safety nets), private security responsible for controlling access and the decision-making process for stopping matches are the areas on which participants must work, who are will meet again in two weeks to submit their proposals to the Prime Minister.



Violence between supporters: how to better prevent it?

Desperate repetition. The seventh day of Ligue 1, this Wednesday, September 22, however, did not present high-risk posters. It prevents. The sad spectacle of the invasion of the lawn, which began on August 22 during the Nice-Marseille meeting, and reproduced on Saturday September 18 for the clash between Lens and Lille, had a third episode after the final whistle between Angers and Marseille.

This draw (0-0) would become even more so, with first exchanges of various projectiles between the two “kops” of supporters requiring the intervention of stewards and CRS. The ace. A few die-hards managed to break the security cordon to punch the green square.

A few hours earlier, near Montpellier, it was a bus of Girondins de Bordeaux supporters who fell into an ambush at the exit of the motorway by opposing fans: paving in order, broken glass … and 16 injured Bordeaux side, some of which need to be taken to hospital.

A phenomenon affecting other countries

“There is undoubtedly a revival of activism that can also be observed in other countries, such as in Italy where a serious injury was to be deplored in a lower division last weekend, or in England during a recent Leicester-Naples, underlines Sébastien Louis, sociologist at the European School of Luxembourg and specialist in radical supporters. We can probably attribute the phenomenon to the frustrations accumulated during the Covid period. And note that it is not only ultras who are in the maneuver, the images showing in these disorders sometimes known hooligans, but also lambda supporters. “

→ HISTORY. Greens close to relegation and club sale

Against this violence, the response of the football authorities, with rare exceptions, until then has been limited to collective sanctions. On August 8, the Montpellier supporters were the first to ignite the fuse by throwing bottles against their Marseille counterparts. Consequence: the Disciplinary Commission of the Professional Football League punishes the club with a closed session for three matches. Against Nice, it was also three games behind closed doors, plus two points of suspension, one of which was suspended. The Lens club, for its part, has been sanctioned for the moment by two games behind closed doors as a precaution, pending the results of the investigation on October 6.

“If Nice had been sentenced to 10 or 15 games behind closed doors, I am not sure that the supporters of Lens would have entered the field”, reacted the Montpellier striker Valère Germain, one of the few players to take a position on the subject. On the contrary, many experts point to the limit of these collective sanctions.

“There are three times more closed doors today than ten years ago, and ultimately that does not deter anyone, underlines Me Pierre Barthélémy, lawyer of the National Association of supporters which brings together about forty Ultras groups in France. In the current legal arsenal, individual sanctions are however possible, but are rarely applied: barely 200 people in France are banned from the stadium, against 10,000 in England and 4 to 5,000 in Germany ”.

An organization to review in the stadiums

This individual component makes it possible to exclude supporters identified by a judicial ban (up to five years, taken by the judge), administrative (for two years, and three if recidivism, taken by the prefect), or commercial (refusal to sell ticket up to 18 months, taken by the club) requires a thorough investigation using the video surveillance systems that equip most stadiums today. “Obviously, it is easier to impose a closed door or as a preventive measure to prohibit the movements of supporters”, regrets Me Barthélémy.

→ THE FACTS. Football: the match Nice – Marseille will have to be replayed behind closed doors

For Sébastien Louis, the solution also involves a reflection around a round table “Putting the groups of supporters in front of their responsibility, stakeholders of the problem but also of the solution. An upstream preventive component added to individualized sanctions would make it possible to move forward. Just like a meeting between those in charge of security in the stadiums to exchange good practices. “

During Lens-Lille, the intervention of the security forces effectively avoided too violent contacts. Elsewhere, the events reveal some shortcomings in the organization of parking for visitors, or in buffer zones between supporters that are too narrow. “75% of the stewards have also been renewed since the Covid period, with the loss of skills that this generates”, assures Me Barthélémy. Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu recently acknowledged that in terms of training too, “We have to think together with the clubs”.


Prison required against a Nice supporter

One year of imprisonment including six months suspended: this is the penalty required Wednesday, September 22 against the Nice supporter guilty of a kick against the Marseille playmaker, Dimitri Payet, on August 22 during the Mediterranean derby. This 28-year-old temporary worker was filmed by the stadium’s CCTV cameras, the first to enter the pitch and move towards the Marseille player.

He has “Ashamed of his gesture” and is in “An attitude of repentance”, pleaded his lawyer Me Benjamin Taïeb. The lawyer of the Professional Football League, Mr.e Benjamin Peyrelevade, for his part, underlined the need to stop these incessant overflows in the stadiums by asking himself: “We wonder what will be the next step”. The decision was put under advisement as of September 30.



Euro 2021: curfew, fan-zones, bars… How to follow the matches?

Broadcast on Tuesday, June 15 at 9 p.m. on beIN Sports 1 and M6, the France-Germany match marks the entry of the Blues into Euro 2021, until the final whistle which should occur around 10.50 p.m., i.e. ten minutes before the start of the curfew.

→ READ. Football: France-Germany, these Blues to whom Munich succeeds

Despite the relaxation, which took place last Wednesday, of the health rules put in place to fight the Covid-19 pandemic, it will still be difficult Tuesday for French supporters to come together in large numbers to attend the great debut of the world champions, or to continue the evening beyond the end of the meeting.

► Home matches

It will of course be possible to watch the match from your home. Tuesday evening, the France-Germany match will be broadcast live on M6 and on beIN Sports 1 for subscribers. TF1 and M6 will then share the broadcasting of the other matches of the France team, as well as the final of the Euro.

► No exemption from the curfew but “a tolerance”

There will be no waiver of the curfew, which remains in effect until Wednesday, June 30. If you watched the game away from home, regardless of its outcome, you will need to get back to your home. at 11 p.m.. “Before the finals, there is no overtime and therefore the matches should end before 11:00 pm”, argues the Ministry of the Interior. On Friday, an exemption was exceptionally granted during the men’s semi-final at Roland Garros, which was able to end after 11 p.m. in the presence of the public.

Gérald Darmanin, however, asked Monday June 14 “For the police to show proof of particular leniency during checks “People who would go home after watching the game outside their home”. On Tuesday, the Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu confirmed on Franceinfo that a “Tolerance” would be applied for supporters who have watched the game away from home. On the other hand, “Any behavior endangering the life of others must be particularly punished”, warns the Minister of the Interior.

► Limited number of fan zones depending on the city

The usual place for the public to rally during a major tournament, the fan-zones will be open in limited numbers. “Only fan zones with seated spectators can be put in place until June 29, in compliance with the prescribed tonnage and sanitary measures “, said the Ministry of the Interior, according to the protocol communicated by the Ministry of National Education, Youth and Sports. Unreported gatherings of more than 10 people on public roads remain prohibited.

→ READ. Euro 2021 football: the players to watch

The decision to open a fan-zone is within the remit of town halls, which must meet the health specifications established by the protocol, but it is also subject to obtaining a prefectural authorization. Under these conditions, very few of them have taken the plunge:

AT Bron, a neighboring city of Lyon, a fan-zone with a capacity of 900 places will open its doors on Tuesday and it will be accessible by reservation, said the town hall.
AT Lille, Mayor Martine Aubry (PS) is “Favorable to the establishment of a fan-zone if this can be done in accordance with the rules” in the last three games – the semi-finals and the final in July – but excludes installing one in June.
Same policy at Besancon, where the town hall “Plans to organize the retransmissions of the semi-finals (July 6 or 7) and the final on July 11, at the Léo-Lagrange Stadium (…) with a number of people still to be defined and the obligation of a medical pass to access it ”.
AT Paris and Marseilles, there shouldn’t be a fan zone in June.

► Supervised distribution in bars and restaurants

Another choice available to you: the broadcasting of matches in bars and restaurants. This will also be highly regulated in order to comply with the current gauges, namely a reception capacity limited to 50% with a maximum of six people per table indoors, and 100% with also a maximum of six people per table outdoors.

Many bars and restaurants have already planned to offer the France-Germany shock to their customers indoors. The broadcasting of matches on the terraces of the bars is left to the free appreciation of the cities and prefectures:

→ FILE. A summer under Covid: the answers to your questions about vacations

AT Paris, the installation of television screens on the terrace was thus prohibited by the town hall.
In the Bouches-du-Rhône, the prefecture on the other hand authorized them under conditions: “Table service, 6 per table, barrier gestures respected, terrace empty at 11:00 p.m., screen directed inwards (to prevent non-customers from watching the match from the street)”, detail as wellthe Union of Trades and Hospitality Industries of Bouches-du-Rhône on its Facebook page.