The former semi-finalist of the Coupe de France, Chambly, made an honorable performance in Clermont (0-1) after a bus trip during which a player and the coach tested positive, and the threat of a exclusion from their hotel on Saturday morning.
Saturday shortly before 9 p.m., the final whistle from Mr. Lepaysant delivered Chambly from a nightmarish weekend. Hard hit by the British variant of Covid-19, the Oise club was forced to play in Clermont (0-1) after 24 surreal hours.
Friday noon, the Camblysian communications officer Maxime Malory, announces that 11 players have tested positive and is not beating around the bush: “it’s a real cluster”. In Oise, we still hope the postponement of the meeting even if the players are already on their way to Clermont.
Threatened to be evicted from their hotel
Worse, the 11th positive case has just been confirmed … on the team bus. Coach Bruno Luzi is also infected, and symptomatic. All the ingredients seem together to postpone the meeting but opposite, an opponent who will play the spoilsport: the health protocol of the LFP.
As long as twenty players out of thirty are tested negative (therefore ten positive cases), the match can be played, says the text. But the count stops, oddly enough, 48 hours before kick-off.
Chambly must therefore continue on his way and the LFP refuses to count the 11th positive player for a testing quarrel: the Ligue 2 club used an antigen test, the League wants a PCR.
When they arrived in Clermont, President Fulvio Luzi’s men encountered another problem: their hotel. Not very enthusiastic in view of the sanitary situation, the establishment is ready to cut short the stay of the Camblysiens before going back. “We thank the Novotel de Clermont hotel which initially wanted to kick us out for fear of the Covid but which allowed us to stay”, greeted Fulvio Luzi after the match.
Until the end, the Camblysian president will have waited for a sign from the LFP, after contacts made on Saturday morning. “We were not called back, we are used to it, we are Chambly. I am angry with a person who behaved badly and who hurt football. She will hear me from Monday morning,” warned the president of the former Coupe de France semi-finalist.
“16 warriors” in the field
On the ground, the Camblysiens must do with the means at hand: ten professional players, five young people and … Vincent Planté. For the first time since his retirement in 2017, the goalkeeper coach puts his name on the scoresheet, as a replacement. Faced with Clermont, candidate for the rise, we did not give much of the skin of the 18th in Ligue 2.
But, full of solidarity, the “16 warriors”, according to the club’s expression, stand up to the Auvergne and concede a short defeat (0-1). “I used my words. I told the players to put the c … on the table. Our families are worried about us. It’s still a football game. Life is more important than a game football, ”says Vincent Planté, responsible for the talk in the absence of Bruno Luzi.
Opposite, Pascal Gastien had difficulty in rejoicing. “We should not have played this game. We were made to take risks. Despite the rules, I think the circumstances were special. We will do tests on Tuesday in addition to those scheduled for Thursday,” said the coach Clermont at a press conference.
The fear of contamination in Clermont
Because the Auvergnats can legitimately worry. And if the English variant, dreadfully contagious, had remained at the Gabriel Montpied stadium. The Camblysiens’ previous opponent, Sochaux, already has three positive players.
“You don’t have to have done Sciences Po to understand that it is we who have passed these cases on to Sochaux. […] The real fear is to contaminate this Clermont team and prevent them from properly pursuing their Championship, ”regretted Maxime Malory, Chambly’s communications officer.
The health protocol of the LFP is also likely to be in the sights after this incredible weekend. Saturday, the Clermont rugby players should have moved to Agen. But their match was postponed. Reason? At least five ASM players were positive for Covid … far from the 11 cases identified in Chambly.