Saturday, April 4, 2020

Coronavirus: end of season for amateur volleyball championships

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The uncertainty had lasted long enough. The suspense too. Meeting in videoconference in the morning, the executive office of the French volleyball federation “made the difficult decision”, according to the press release, to stop all amateur level competitions due to the confinement and the coronavirus pandemic. The body has set out the list of the championships concerned: these are the young French cups, the senior federal France cups, the Elite French Championships, National 2, National 3, regional championships and cups and championships and cups departmental.

No title of champion or winner of an amateur French Cup will be awarded and no team will be relegated to a lower level. However, the executive office announced that “the number of climbs in the upper level is maintained”. The central sports commission must decide on the modalities next Monday.

If these decisions make it possible to lift the veil on the uncertainty which reigned at the end of the season and a possible – but complicated – resumption of the championships, it poses problems on the constitution of future competitions. A headache to come for the regional leagues and the departmental committees which manage thousands of clubs. President Eric Tanguy also indicated in the press release that: “if a club did not wish to subscribe to the exceptional terms of this season, no financial or sporting penalty would be applied to it”.

These decisions only concerning the amateur level, the final oven of the French men’s and women’s professional cups and the three professional competitions (Men’s and Women’s League A, Men’s League B), managed by the League (LNV), are not affected. . Despite the near unanimity of the presidents of the pro clubs, the LNV had, last week, confirmed its will to suspend the championships until further notice and to do everything possible to complete them.

Volleyball is the second so-called major sport in France to take such a measure. The first was handball which, at the start of the week, marked the final cessation of the amateur championships and the cancellation of the Coupe de France. But unlike volleyball, handball will relegate. Football, and its millions of licensees, rugby and basketball have still not taken a stand. The federal office of French basketball will meet next Saturday, by videoconference, to decide on the future of the various competitions (championships and Cups), except those managed by the Professional League (Jeep Élite and Pro B).

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