Masculins / 

Club statement

Published on 15 March 2020 at 2:50 PM
Communiqué du club

Following the media coverage in recent hours, around a question taken out of context and which was asked by the newspaper Le Monde to Jean-Michel Aulas, Olympique Lyonnais wishes to clarify that this question was only a hypothesis in a specific case where Ligue 1's season cannot be finished.

If ever this situation should arise, it is for the whole family of French football to come together to decide the best decision to be taken based on the particular case of the matter (it would not occur to anyone, if the second round of elections could not be held, to rely solely on the results of the first round to validate the elected representatives). There will indeed be a certain number of legal decisions which will be taken into account, and which will have to be in conformity with the public's general interest and the regulations of the LFP and the French Football Federation. It will then be time to look calmly, if this the that scenario presents itself, at the consequences for all involved. As is often the case, Jean-Michel Aulas took the time to dissect in advance the extent of the situation, in the same way that he had done on Thursday evening, in the case that the President of the League and the President of the Federation, were to propose, in the general interest of being concerned first and foremost with the health of the players and all those involved in the competition  to replace the closed-door protocol decided upon by the League to halt until further notice, and with immediate effect the matches, rather than continuing on the path that the League had initially decided.


The proposals from UEFA, which is to hold crucial talks on Tuesday on what is to become of the European competitions, will be decisive. It is also important to ask the question about all of the international competitions that are organised by FIFA but also those of the continental federations, with the Olympic Games, scheduled for this summer, in particular in the spotlight, while respecting and taking into account the players' basic right to rest and holidays, as FifPro has also pointed out.


Contrary to what the sorcerer's apprentices of unsavory behind-the-scenes football want to say, Olympique Lyonnais is obviously campaigning for the season to come to an end; and in not reproducing his clear and precise words this has also induced a subjective position that is very far from reality, which is implied in the writing of this official statement.


Moreover, OL, which is still in the race for a European place in Ligue 1, also has another opportunity to qualify for a European competition with the Coupe de la Ligue final, to be played against PSG. OL are also still in the knockout stages of the Champions League after their 1-0 victory over Juventus in the first leg and the return match still to be played. Similarly, the new situation of several clubs, in France and abroad, affected by the coronavirus and the quarantine of their squad, which could continue to grow rapidly, shows that the question one has to know is what is going to happen to all the football competitions in this exceptional year, which has generated fear, anxiety and a situation not only of health but also of the economy, which can be dramatic for not only the whole of football but also for other professional team sports.


Some of these so-called lesson givers wanted to use and twist words to their advantage, in a context based on reproach and polemics, which was never the meaning of the interview published in Le Monde. Paradoxically, we can see that the most virulent responses, on the verge of defamation, are those who wanted to appropriate that for which they criticised Jean-Michel Aulas, and what is more worrying, with perhaps the complicity of institutions, which should not cease to analyse with composure the situation which worsens day by day, and which cannot allow at the moment to have a realistic vision of the objective decisions which it will be necessary to take.


Faced with this unprecedented situation, the urgency today is to curb the epidemic, to protect the most vulnerable, to avoid displacement, and to help by all means the most disadvantaged, perhaps by participating in the effort of solidarity in the face of this pandemic, in a country where we should all be behind the healthcare workers (nurses, doctors, resuscitation centres, hospitals...) who participate in curbing this scourge, in the general interest of society.


Thank you to all those who tried to demonise the truncated and distorted remarks of Jean-Michel Aulas for having the ethics and honesty to reproduce the above remarks in their entirety.