Not far from the short circuit between the Montreuil event and the French Athletics Federation

This Thursday evening, the Crédit Mutuel Athlé Tour will stop at the Grands-Pêcher Stadium in Montreuil (from 18:47). Almost a feat at the sight of the last few weeks. Not about the CA Montreuil meeting, which has been on the podium for French track events for several seasons and which was to be held no matter what happened. But as has been the case for several seasons, the Ile-de-France club had left it to do so on its part without federal support and its professional meeting circle. A heresy on paper, but athletics has a way of making it very complicated when it can be very simple.

Montreuil had for several seasons under contract with equipment manufacturer Nike never entered into an agreement with the French Athletics Federation (FFA), where the latter worked with another equipment manufacturer (Adidas). From the beginning of the year, however, discussions had begun to find common ground. But the conditions proposed by the organizer have long seemed too complicated to respect.

“They wanted to help us, but Nike had to be fired everywhere. This sponsor is dressing 500 children from our residential areas. I do not want to sit on that”

Samir Benfarès, club president

“We were taken out because we have a sponsor named Nikeloose Samir Benfarès, club president. But other meetings have other partners, such as All Star Perche (Puma) or Monaco (Nikes). So that’s not the problem. They wanted to help us, but we had to fire Nike everywhere. This sponsor dresses 500 children from our residential areas. I do not want to sit on that. The mark had to be removed around the pitch, on the bibs, in the VIP area, on the poster … “

In fact, according to the exchanges we have achieved, “Nike’s total lack of visibility at the event” was the association’s first request, which gave the organizer some leeway. And since other meetings had always managed to find a deal to integrate the French meeting circuit, Montreuil felt somewhat purposeful, leaving old indignations between one of the best French clubs in history and opponents.

“The (Montreuil) are not the ugly ducklings, neutralizes Anne Tournier-Lasserve, vice president of the FFA. It’s just that they have a partner who is different from the Federation’s and that the right agreements should be found. We must respect their partners and they must respect ours. It took some time to find common ground. It is short- and long-term work. We wanted Montreuil to return to this circuit again, it is one of the top three French clubs, we can not let it go. »

The last conversations accelerated things

A hand that still took a long time to reach out, as Montreuil no longer counted, until a few days more, on any help. Meanwhile, the temper had warmed up, the meeting went for a while to weigh the threat – of course quickly lifted – not to invite French athletes (about forty are present). But the recent discussions, especially with FFA chairman André Giraud, and the echo of a likely press article, accelerated things.

“We do not have what they have put in the other meetings, but it is a step towards harmonization”, temperament Benfarès. With a value of between € 80,000 and € 100,000, FFA’s support for the pro-meeting covers several areas such as the provision of equipment for volunteers, timekeeping, juries, financial support of € 10,000 via Crédit Mutuel and of course the communication between the distribution on the platform and sharing on the Federation’s social network.

According to our information, Montreuil for this edition will be helped up to € 25,000 and its main partner will be visible. “The negotiations were completed during the year, so there were already commitmentsexpands Tournier-Lasserve to justify the gap in support. But we want it to last. We are going to work on this meeting, which is very important for the Association. »

To show its goodwill, FFA also took responsibility for the final printing of the bibs, where the original comma was replaced at the last minute by the unique logo of one of its partners. Avoid a very damaging short circuit as behind all this the only potential victims remain the athletes. With the advent of the rankings, the latter has every interest in the French meetings having a maximum of funds to climb the world hierarchy and deliver as many points as possible.

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