March 24, 2020
Fixtures : Rivère proposes 'a radical change'
The 2019-20 Ligue 1 season was abruptly stopped after Nice’s 2-1 win over Monaco on Matchday 28 of the season and now French football is looking for a solution to complete the campaign. On Tuesday, in the local press, OGC Nice chairman Jean-Pierre Rivère proposed revealed a radical plan that he intends to put to his counterparts at the other professional clubs.
“The number one aim is that that coronavirus has as few victims as possible,” insisted the OGC Nice chief, who believes that “it’s not easy to talk about football in the current situation, it’s almost indecent. Our priorities lie elsewhere. People’s health is the main thing now…”
THE FOOTBALL SEASON SWITCHED TO THE CALENDAR YEAR?
Asked about when the championship can restart, Jean-Pierre Rivère told journalist Vincent Menichini that “the countdown has already begun. Football is in great danger.” The chairman is looking long term, “to adapt to the coming two or three years.” The 2022 World Cup is scheduled between 21 November to 18 December and so, “Why not begin adapting to that competition now? Perhaps this is the time for radical change. In 2022, we could imagine beginning the season in February with a mid-season break between 1-17 August. In 2021, we could imagine the same thing. In 2020, the plan would be to finish the current season between August and late October, November.”
IT MAKES SENSE
For Rivère “it makes sense.” This solution would provide “the necessary time to resolve the current health crisis and preserve people’s health,” allow football to resume “in normal conditions and avoid matches being played behind closed doors” and for the economy to “begin its reconstruction.” Finally, the chairman highlighted one last positive effect this change would have with less football matches being played in winter: “I think going to watch a football match in May, June and July is a lot nicer and more fun!”
Also asked about players whose contracts expire in June, and the following transfer window, Euro 2021 and other economic consequences of the coronavirus Jean-Pierre Rivère concluded: “It’s an enormous challenge, but with the right spirit, and a unified, intelligent approach, we can win this match.”
Read the entire interview in French in Tuesday’s edition of Nice-Matin .