Thursday, April 2, 2020

"The gods of the stadium can be crossed by something other than light and glory"

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"This is how the caciques of international sport, and first of all football, experienced behind closed doors, as a scathing response to the most dramatic pandemic since the Spanish flu" (PSG supporters outside of the Parc des Princes, during the match against Dortmund, March 11). Christophe Ena / AP

Grandstand. The gods of the stadium were therefore among us. Astonishing: the coronavirus, its ravages, its fears, its gossip, will not have spared the sport as a whole. Every tragedy has its corollary, a sort of dark, cursed laugh. We can therefore say that the most spectacular large bridge succeeds in spectacle sport – football in particular – a gesture that only King Pelé, without a ball, was able to lead during the World Cup semi-final in 1970 , in front of the Uruguayan goalkeeper Ladislao Mazurkiewicz, now belongs to the planetary virus. The perfect gesture.

In these times of confinement, it is time to discover, or re-read all those who have taught us that sport is a second heart that beats at the eardrum of our society. For the worst and the best. The Uruguayan poet Eduardo Galeano (1940-2015), in Football. Shadow and light (Lux, 2014) taught us these two realities, in the same burst of tenderness towards the football he loved so much. But warned us: "Football now belongs to television". The worst.

" Diffusion ", therefore "Diffuse", noted director Jean-Luc Godard, about this unbearable and laughable cloning of repeated matches, which a few glitter puppets try, if necessary, to make edible. "Diffusion", "retransmission rights", "sponsors", up to the organized disfigurement of our sport, with the imbecile arrival of the very famous VAR (video assistance to arbitration) in the governed buses.

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This is how the caciques of international sport, and first of all football, firstly experienced "behind closed doors", as a stinging response to the most dramatic pandemic since the Spanish flu, there is a hundred years old. It was a few days ago. Yesterday again. The “pues la sweat” were invited to go around, around the Parc des Princes – to sing yes, but from a distance -, while the gods were naturally authorized to meet, face to face, in the mirror of their eternity . Sometimes I watched these devotees touching the arm or the face of their idol. Gods, so far from us.

For several years now, there has been no longer any question of getting as close as possible to the untouchable deities. No more air travel shared with the stars of the French team. Curtain on this form of investigation, mixing admiration and tenderness. The stars of international football had joined the status of Holy Father in his papamobile … So, for the time of a Champions League match – PSG-Dortmund -, we witnessed, in form of course, a sort of tracking shot – sailor: silence was made in the stands, curiously reminding me of those Monegasque nights with twelve or thirteen spectators in the bays.

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