Masculins / Nantes – OL

Interview with Marino Faccioli

Published on 21 July 2006 at 4:50 PM
Marino Faccioli, Olympique Lyonnais’ assistant director general in charge of sport, explains the reasons behind OL’s decision to appeal to the C.N.O.S.F. for the postponement of the opening game of the Ligue 1 season against Nantes.
Why do you want to postpone the opening match of the season against Nantes?
11 of our players took part in the World Cup. Nine of them played in the quarter-finals, semi-finals and final (the French Grégory COUPET, Eric ABIDAL, Florent MALOUDA, Sidney GOVOU and Sylvain WILTORD, the Portuguese TIAGO, and the Brazilians CRIS, JUNINHO and FRED). These players also have the right to three weeks holidays after the World Cup and therefore cannot be called back to training until July 29. That means they cannot compete in the Trophée des Champions, nor the first match of the league season against Nantes, if the decision is upheld. One can also note that six of the 11 players were named in the 2005/06 Ligue 1 Team of the Season. There absence is therefore a penalty for Olympique Lyonnais, but also for the league in general.

What is the reason for going to the C.N.O.S.F. (The French National Olympic and Sports Committee)?
We firstly approached the Competition Organising Commission of the league who are in charge of the calendar. We did this because in article 312, it is possible, under exceptional circumstances, that a match can be postponed. The fact that the French team went to the final of the World Cup is exceptional. We said that this means that nine OL players could not resume training before July 29 and therefore, were unable to compete in these matches.
Our initial step was to ask this commission and they rejected our demans. We therefore went to the league’s Appeals Commission, to whom we pleaded our case on Thursday.
The Appeals Commission also rejected our demand, despite our judicial arguments. We have therefore decided to appeal to C.N.O.S.F. If they agree to our demands, then we will return to the Administrative Council of the league who will then make a definitive ruling.

Will this be a long or quick process?
Considering that the match is very soon, it should go quickly. We imagine that the Olympic Committee will hear our case on Tuesday or Wednesday.

Are you confident?
Our demands are based on written laws and we think the C.N.O.S.F. will take the decision which will enable us to return to the league’s Administrative Council with a favourable ruling.