Rudi Garcia : "It would be really sad to finish the season without fans"
Coach, how are you preparing for the resumption of competition on your side?
The priority is health. Doctors have the final say. When you see what’s planned, there’s four weeks of preparation. If certain players have been infected and there is a risk of having things resume with significant intensity, these four weeks of medical advice must be observed. With the other coaches, we think that three weeks of training will be more than enough because the players are training at home every day. They need to expend themselves, to occupy themselves. They are ready. If the time for preparation is too long, we can reduce the window for the competition but we would be forced to play every three days after two months off. It's a rhythm that we have to fight against. Coaches talk about these hellish cadences during the season, which expose the players to too much stress. We must avoid being in the wrong and making the schedule too much if we want to see quality matches.
Can you imagine things being as they had been before confinement?
I hope so, but I'm not sure. Human nature tends to quickly forget difficult times. This period requires thinking. I don’t forget that football and sport provide entertainment, spectacle. People take pleasure in these moments. In matches behind closed doors? If it’s temporary, it’s okay, as putting people in a stadium will not happen right away. The essence of football is not to play behind closed doors. I understand the economic constraints of the clubs and the leaders who have to work on a possible recovery. Like many other coaches, we are really sensitive to playing with the fans. I'm not sure we can do it. It would be really sad to end this season without spectators. I hope we will at least have no worries about doing this at the start of the next season.
What about the resumption of the Champions League?
There is work to be done on the subject of the resumption of the national championships. UEFA would like to end the season by the end of July if it can resume and keep August to finish the European Cups. If so, so much the better. But will it be possible in early August to travel around Europe without risk? We have to go to Turin, a place that had serious outbreaks next door. I am not sure we can do it. There are specialists who will decide.
What was the mobilization of the coaches during this period?
Some of us thought that we had to mobilize. We created a Whatsapp group with the Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 coaches. We made a collective donation to the Fondation de France for € 120,000. It was the least we could do. This group is interesting for discussing and exchanging ideas on the conditions necessary for a return to training and competition. We have a lot of questions about a risk-free recovery starting May 11, even if the staff are doing a lot of things to work on this. We are a contact sport. There must be no risk.
Do you have a message for the supporters?
We are all the same. We can't wait to return to competition with a full Groupama Stadium. You have to be patient, there are priorities. We are impatient to fight for the colors of OL again.