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Football: Deep Freeze In France Heats Up Controversy

Posted on: January 11, 2009

PARIS : Wintry weather meant three French league matches were postponed on Saturday following a week-long controversy over the kick-off time of 2000GMT on a weekend where temperatures plunged below freezing.

Nancy versus Nice and Le Mans against Lille were called off on Saturday while Valenciennes versus Caen was postponed on Friday.

Half of the 10 second division matches were postponed and nine of 10 in the third-flight were cancelled as low temperatures caused havoc with the schedules.

Valenciennes coach Antoine Kombouare said the late hour of 2000GMT on Friday was the reason the match had to be called off. “Perhaps we could have played at 3p.m. (1400 GMT),” Kombouare had said.

Football League president Frederic Thiriez said on Thursday, referring to Valenciennes: “Certain people have discovered it’s cold in winter. What amateurism.”

Paris Saint Germain fullback Sylvain Armand, whose side play at Bordeaux on Sunday also said the late kick-off was a problem.

“There is a fixture list and technically you need to abide by it, but all this is not conducive to good football. “We shouldn’t be playing at 9p.m. (2000 GMT). An effort should have been made on the kick-off time.”

The Auxerre versus Marseille fixture started as scheduled but not before the visiting club’s president Pape Diouf told Auxerre president Jean-Claude Hamel that he did not want to play on a frozen pitch.

“You can’t play on this pitch. If you want the three points, I give them to you,” Diouf told Hamel in front of TV cameras.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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Football: Deep Freeze In France Heats Up Controversy

Posted on: January 11, 2009

PARIS : Wintry weather meant three French league matches were postponed on Saturday following a week-long controversy over the kick-off time of 2000GMT on a weekend where temperatures plunged below freezing.

Nancy versus Nice and Le Mans against Lille were called off on Saturday while Valenciennes versus Caen was postponed on Friday.

Half of the 10 second division matches were postponed and nine of 10 in the third-flight were cancelled as low temperatures caused havoc with the schedules.

Valenciennes coach Antoine Kombouare said the late hour of 2000GMT on Friday was the reason the match had to be called off. “Perhaps we could have played at 3p.m. (1400 GMT),” Kombouare had said.

Football League president Frederic Thiriez said on Thursday, referring to Valenciennes: “Certain people have discovered it’s cold in winter. What amateurism.”

Paris Saint Germain fullback Sylvain Armand, whose side play at Bordeaux on Sunday also said the late kick-off was a problem.

“There is a fixture list and technically you need to abide by it, but all this is not conducive to good football. “We shouldn’t be playing at 9p.m. (2000 GMT). An effort should have been made on the kick-off time.”

The Auxerre versus Marseille fixture started as scheduled but not before the visiting club’s president Pape Diouf told Auxerre president Jean-Claude Hamel that he did not want to play on a frozen pitch.

“You can’t play on this pitch. If you want the three points, I give them to you,” Diouf told Hamel in front of TV cameras.

– AFP /ls

Channel News Asia

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