Is football still bearable?


Is football still bearable? This question we ask ourselves often. And it's a heartbreaker.

How much have we seen our childhood rocked by the exploits of our champions? These World Cups replayed on a sidewalk, the flowers of neighbors devastated by passes in deep hazardous, Panini vignettes not found …

Society has undergone mutations, football too. If this sport is still part of our DNA, do we still love it so much? Or did we join the clan of "nostalgic football": those who preferred the game to the competition, the passion for money, the country stands to the temples of consumption.

This questioning is central. Intimate, as much as collective. He does not only question football, but also our relationship to him. And, at the time of the balance sheets, contradictory feelings invade us.

This sport, although we love it, we sometimes furiously want to spit in his face when he drapes his vile costumes.

Yet, all over the world, football continues to be a vector of dreams and hopes.

Yet, in the stands of the whole world, thousands of young people continue to live their passion, often in a conscious and militant way, transforming the popular forums into "zones to be defended".

The scandals that have engrossed the news in recent years have been a real shock. They force us to take a stand: should we abandon this sport that no longer resembles us or beat us to give it a presentable face?

In our local magazine Review Far West, this reflection and these questions jumped in our faces as we were preparing a series of articles on the evolution of the Girondins de Bordeaux. The club was then about to be bought by an American investment fund after being directed for twenty years by the M6 ​​television channel.

The publication of our articles has led to a lot of interest among our readers, and a lot of debate. We wanted to continue the discussion in real, offline. Thus, the idea of ​​organizing a day of reflection on the subject was born: the Festival Coup Franc, first edition will take place on Saturday, November 16th.

During an afternoon in Bordeaux, we invite you to come and reflect on these issues. And what we expect from this sports show that we love so much … But who makes it so bad.

National and international federations splashed by scandals, amounts of indecent transfers, corruption, tax evasion, ethnic filings, repression of fan movements … Can recent scandals help to moralize football and change the practices of football? a sport become industry? Has the business definitely killed the game? What place will the fans have in tomorrow's football? Will money be stronger than passion?

To address these issues, we invited journalists, researchers, supporters and football fans. Here is a presentation of the speakers.

Yann Filipino is a journalist for Mediapart, he participated in the two seasons of Football Leaks investigations

Football Leaks represent the leak of more than 18.6 million confidential documents, obtained by Der Spiegel and processed by the European Investigative Collaborations in collaboration with several European media including Mediapart. According to the French investigative media, this is the "biggest leak of information in the history of sport".

In an interview given for So Foot, Yann Philippin explains that "the business of football is a business like any other, in terms of frauds, scheming, offshore mounts, opaque financial circuits." Following the release of the two seasons of revelation, he also notes that "systemically, all that is said about the schemes related to transfers has hardly changed. This feeling of impunity is a perfect illustration of what has been written about the cartel of European clubs and financial fair play. We see that there is a massive systemic cheat that distorts sports equity. We are talking about billions of euros injected into football in violation of the rules. All in total impunity. "

Mathias Edwards is a journalist for So Foot and Revue Far Ouest.

In a series for Far West magazine entitled "M6 Foot Story", the journalist went to meet the association of supporters of the Girondins de Bordeaux, the Ultramarines, shortly before the acquisition of the club in 2018. He told the story among other things paradox in which the fans are immersed in the era of globalized football business. These are "both aware that their club needs to do better than live between the 6th and 10th place of the championship, humanist but anchored in a resolutely capitalist world, the Ultramarines cultivate paradoxes without being fooled (…) In practice, fans do not sit on the board of directors of the club, their protest can only be expressed in forums that financiers do not listen – when they do not despise them – for a long time.

Mickael Correia is the author of the book "A popular history of football".

For Mickael Correia, football is not just football: for more than a century, it has been a powerful instrument of emancipation for workers, feminists, anticolonialist militants, young people from lower-income neighborhoods and protesters of the country. whole world.
The author traces the fate of those who, practicing this popular sport on a daily basis, professionals or amateurs, have been overshadowed for too long by the star teams and the golden legends. Taking counter-footsteps on football fans, he also tells the astonishing story of football-related football subcultures born after the Second World War, from English hooligans to the ultra who played a central role in the Arab Spring. 2011. By proposing a story "from below", focusing on giving voice to all the protagonists of this epic, Mickael Correia reminds that football can be as generous as it is subversive.

Nicolas Hourcade

Nicolas Hourcade is a sociologist and specialist in football fan movements. He has been teaching at the École Centrale de Lyon since 2001, has been a member of the French Sociology Association since 2002 and of the Societe de sociologie du sport de langue francaise since 2003.

He has been working with the newspaper So Foot since 2004, where he notably coordinated the special issue devoted to supporters. With Ludovic Lestrelin and Patrick Mignon, he wrote the "Green Book of Supportism" handed in October 2010 to Secretary of State for Sports Rama Yade.

Laurent Perpigna Iban

Journalist, member of the editorial board of Far West, and also member of the Executive Board of Ultramarines Bordeaux.

Florian Brunet

Member of the Executive Board of Ultramarines Bordeaux. This group of supporters, created in 1987, is extremely active in the fight against the excesses of modern football. The association has often been at the forefront of protests against coercive measures against fans, and is now in conflict with the management of the Girondins de Bordeaux.

How the day went :

2:45 pm: Introduction and welcome

15h: Presentation by Mickael Correia of his book: "A popular history of Football"

16h: Yann Filipin tells the "Football leaks" revealed by Mediapart

17h: Debate n ° 1: The redemption of the Girondins, what assessment a year later?

Hosted by Samia Dahmouni (soccer player and volunteer with the Bordeaux Foot Red Coqs)

With Yann Filipino, Mathias Edwards, and Florian Brunet.

18h: Debate n ° 2: Which place for the supporters in the football of tomorrow?

Organized by Samia Dahmouni

With Laurent Perpigna Iban, Mickael Correia, and Nicolas Hourcade

7 pm: Third half


Pola Factory: 10 Quai de Brazza, 33000 Bordeaux

Club is the free expression space of Mediapart subscribers. Its contents do not engage the writing.

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