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March 11, 2020

Rivère: 'Behind close doors? a unanimous decision'

Jean-Pierre Rivère spoke to French news channel BFMTV's morning show on Wednesday morning about professional footbal clubs' management of COVID-19.

"There is no question that it is better to play the matches behind closed doors. We met yesterday with the other clubs and we took this decision unanimously, given these very special circumstances. We must not doubt our best intentions on this subject," declared Jean-Pierre Rivère, when asked about the holding of Ligue 1 Conforama matches behind closed doors until 15 April.

"All sectors of the economy are affected. Football is one of them. There will be a financial impact. Especially as we don't know if the situation will continue beyond 15 April or not. We're a little bit in the dark. But football is still a game and, today, there are much more important things at stake than club treasuries. There's a health problem. We have to adapt."

The Chairman of OGC Nice also stressed the difficulty of opting for another solution: "Football is a show, it's about fans in a stadium. It's a shame to play without an audience, and for the players it's very special. But it would also be a shame not to play these matches, because there are very few free dates in the calendar. If we were to postpone matches, we don't know when we could reschedule them. It would become extremely complicated for the fairness of the competition and especially to finish the championship."