"We miss the lightness of sport when lightness disappears"

The interruption of competitions was so unimaginable that it plunged the organizers into inextricable situations. The cancellations raise the specter of seasons without final or final. PEDRO PARDO / AFP

"The revolution in France? Nothing could be easier: you suppress football on television and people take to the streets. " The assertion, attributed to Jean-Luc Godard, cannot be verified: the very improbable suppression of football on television occurs when it is prohibited to take to the streets.

Even if awareness of the gravity of the Covid-19 epidemic is tragically delayed, in France, by various forms of cognitive dissonance, viewers of Paris Saint-Germain-Borussia Dortmund (Wednesday March 11, forever) probably realized that they were watching one of the last major sporting events before closing.

No tomorrow

Held behind closed doors, this meeting also gave rise to a gathering of several thousand supporters outside the Parc des Princes, who then celebrated the qualification. A Mardi Gras before Lent, a final carnival – which we deem irresponsible in retrospect (a delay that will recur).

Football was among the first sectors concerned, with its mass events. Vertigo: barely a few days ago, Lyon welcomed three thousand Turin supporters, spectators from Saint-Etienne invaded the lawn of Geoffroy-Guichard to celebrate with the players a qualification for the final of the Coupe de France.

So many private events of the immediate aftermath. The brutal and worldwide cessation of sports competitions has given sports fans a serious psychological shock as a preamble. What to grasp, in the volatilization of all matches, tournaments or races, the magnitude of the upheavals to come.

The big bang on the calendar

The message couldn't be clearer. In order for the sport to stop due to serious events, it must be particularly so: the precedents are mainly wars. This time, the show should not continue. Amazing, there is no more season.

The interruption was so unimaginable that it plunged the organizers of the competitions into inextricable situations. The cancellations raise the specter of seasons without final or final. They also cause industrial disasters, in line with events such as the Olympic Games or the Euro football tournament, planned for this year.

Already, controversies erupt about the outcome of Ligue 1, after the words of Jean-Michel Aulas advocating a "white season" if we can not finish it. No solution will be right, and the 2019-2020 season risks bequeathing the history of ancestral grudges. While waiting for the big bang on the calendar, all our routine or expected meetings are canceled.

Media eclipse

As confinement lends itself to introspection, this should be the time to question our relationship to sport. If the withdrawal is brutal, it is because we live on an infusion. Competitions are piling up without a break, there are almost no more days without football, federations and leagues compete for the smallest slots in already saturated calendars.

The sports show offer is permanent, even if it is more and more dispersed and paying. Sport occupying an extraordinarily high place in the hierarchy of information, it is also a large section of current affairs that collapses.

The eclipse of the coronavirus plunges the specialized media and the sports services into the unknown and many freelance journalists in an increased precariousness. Broadcasters, whose power is suddenly cut off, find themselves facing a large programming vacuum. A completely new situation in the era of televised sport.

Indispensable lightness

What replaces the continuous flow of results and their comments? What can we say when sport no longer delivers its stream of stories? Editors face a considerable challenge which also gives them an opportunity to take their time, for once.

Since everything is on pause, we must take the opportunity to observe the landscape of contemporary sport, what it has become on screens and in society. His metamorphoses over the past thirty years have been too little discussed: the future is in abeyance, so much to do a little history.

What did sport "fill" in us before disappearing? What we sorely lack today, if not precisely what we blame it for, rightly: its soothing properties, its function of mass diversion, its futility. Its essential lightness, when the lightness disappears. This time we miss sport for good reasons.


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