Not everyone has mastered the transition phases like RC Lens, starting with the government. Invited to France Info on Tuesday, the Minister of Sports, Amélie Oudéa-Castéra, spoke about the ecological transition and the possibility of ending sports programming in the evening, to limit energy expenditure, in particular concerning lighting.
Freshly promoted to National, FC Versailles has just spent its spring and part of its summer racking its brains to find a stadium that meets the requirements of the French third tier. The reason ? The Ile-de-France club cannot release its Montbauron stadium, for lack of lighting pylons deliberately omitted to preserve the surroundings of the residence commissioned by Louis XIV. And yet, the last semi-finalist of the Coupe de France, who had to fall back on the Jean-Bouin stadium, could have to do without it, since the Minister of Sports therefore mentioned this Tuesday on the antenna of France Info the possibility of ending sports programming in the evening, starting this winter. For reasons presented as ecological. “It could be this winter that sport is at the heart of the desire to support the ecological transition” launched the government official.
Ecological reasons, therefore. We are entitled to doubt it. We can first put in the balance the consequent increase in the price of gas (around €0.19 per kWh in July 2022, twice as much as in 2010) and the scarcity of the latter, a consequence of the Russian-Ukrainian conflict. Indeed, it is economically more advantageous not to consume too much so as not to see the bill explode, and it is better to take advantage of natural light as much as possible. On the other hand, if we focus on this climate issue, we can talk about the legend of the hummingbird. Because of course, intrinsically, the idea is not necessarily stupid, but is the lighting really the most polluting factor in the organization of a match? Especially since the stadiums tend to be equipped with LED lighting systems (light-emitting diode), which consume very little energy. So, to start with the ridiculous, why not. Provided that the preponderant follows, which we are entitled to doubt, there too. Because to be satisfied with that is obviously to turn a blind eye to the polluters, the real ones.
At 320 km/h, everything is far from far
The preponderant, precisely, let’s come to it. Are we tackling the problem from the right end when six round trips by plane between Paris and Marseille are equivalent to the average annual emissions of a French person to heat his home? And when the same train journey, admittedly twice as long, is 50 times more economical in terms of carbon dioxide emissions? If Amélie Oudéa-Castéra wanted to bang her fist on the table, she could have – she should have – forced the clubs to use the railroad rather than the air when possible. “At 320 km/h, everything is far from far away” , says it so well the slogan of the TGV Inoui advertising in the metros. Even a Paris-Lille. Even a Lyon-Paris. In short, it is difficult to hear this energetic argument when the Champions Trophy is being played in Israel, when the majority of the big clubs go on a summer tour to the other side of the globe, and when the number of annual plane journeys from a Ligue 1 player can be counted in the dozens.
And then finally, independently of any ecological questioning this time, come the questions of programming which make Amélie Oudéa-Castéra’s proposal lean into sophism. It’s hard to imagine Amazon and Canal kneeling before the government to modify programming schedules that are knowingly defined and which will no longer suit many people, hard to imagine sold-out ticket offices at the Aube stadium on a Wednesday in November at 2 p.m. , difficult to imagine the growth of the European attraction of our French championship without its posters on Sunday evening at 9 p.m., even if, across the Urals, we would probably see it as a godsend, since Asia will be able to take advantage of a continuous prime time despite the good sense and the passion of the French. This is why, as planned, FC Versailles will play its “home” matches in Paris this season. And for once, when FCV supporters meet every other Friday in the stands of the Jean-Bouin stadium, they will be able to see that indeed, it’s not Versailles here.
By Clement Barbier