The president of the Toulouse football club Damien Comolli, returns exclusively for La Dépeche du Midi on the decision taken by the disciplinary committee of the LFP on Wednesday January 12, to impose a suspended point withdrawal on his club. Decision following the racist remarks coming from the stands of the Stadium during the TFC – Rodez match, on December 13th.
The day after the decision rendered by the commission, did you digest the sanction imposed on you?
No, no I have absolutely not digested …
What state of mind are you in?
I have several feelings that come to mind … I am stunned and shocked by this unfair and disproportionate decision. This is absolutely not fair and I find that the disciplinary committee is taken at its own game, its own inconsistencies in the judgments and decisions it renders and its case law. If we go back a bit, everything we’ve done since then … I’m not talking about the fact that we apologized to Lionel Mpasi, from his club, that we tried to support him because it is the least of things. But everything that we have put in place with the police, justice and our security services … In the investigation report, the match delegate congratulated us on the way we had reacted and he repeated it before the disciplinary committee. All these elements that we have put in place and all the work that we have been doing against discrimination for years. For the third time in 10 years, we have won the Philippe Seguin trophy (Trophy aimed at promoting citizen initiatives put in place by football clubs, Editor’s note) … In short, everyone recognizes the work that we do.
But it was not enough…
The chairman of the disciplinary committee even recognized it yesterday (Wednesday, January 12, Editor’s note). He recognized our professionalism, the relationship we have with the police, justice and supporters is not common in France. As proof, the person who threw a bottle on the field during the match against Guingamp was identified, arrested and brought to justice thanks to us, because we arrested him in the stadium and handed over to the police. He was sentenced to 4 months suspended prison sentence and a one-year court ban from the stadium; we ourselves have put an 18-month stadium ban on him. The day we catch the person who insulted Lionel Mpasi, we will inflict the most severe sanction possible at our club level. In short, when we put all this end to end, the sanction taken by the disciplinary committee is completely counterproductive.
“A stupid situation”
Do you have the impression that you criticize the committee for a cold approach that is disconnected from the reality of your daily actions?
Obviously. In addition to that, we provided a letter from the deputy prosecutor to the disciplinary committee which explains that he appreciates the collaboration that there is between his services and the club. We are in contact with the director of the survey at least twice a week. That’s why I’m talking about inconsistency and injustice. And we are sanctioned when it is not someone who belongs to the TFC community. He is neither a subscriber nor a supporter. I said to the disciplinary committee and I apologized for speaking so bluntly: “It’s a guy passing by, who decided to buy a ticket to come and screw up. It’s an incident. dramatic for the history of the club which lasted 10 seconds. ” And all this is notified in the report, but despite that we are sanctioned.
Will this suspended sentence hover over your heads from now on?
Yes, it’s like a sword of Damocles until the end of the championship. And I come to the stupidity of the situation we are in. Malicious supporters could come into the stadium cynically, insult an opposing player and that will cause us to lose a point. And the second thing is that we say to ourselves that we are pushing the clubs to deny the facts. It never crossed our minds, but if you want to protect yourself, you can deny it. But the problem is that we are in a situation with this decision where we would have done better to deny than to come and apologize by saying that we will do everything to find the person.
“The club are considering appealing”
Do you plan to appeal this decision?
We are awaiting the reasons for the decision because for the moment there is just a press release. The club plans to appeal but we want to read the decision (expected before Friday evening January 14) before doing anything. But in all the discussions that we have between the president, we come back to the same thing: collective sanctions do not work. This must go through individual sanctions because the obligation of result set by the Council of State for clubs in 2007, it does not work. We must completely change the software in the fight against these problems in stadiums in France. It doesn’t work and it’s counterproductive.
For you, this sanction is more severe than a partial or total closed door of the Stadium?
Yes of course. If someone with bad intentions comes to the Stadium and does the same thing to harm us, we are “in”.
Finally, could you update us on the investigation? Has the person been stopped?
I’m sorry to tell you that, but I can’t tell you more. There is the secret of instruction. But it is in the hands of the deputy prosecutor and the director of investigation.