Three vans, a police car and about fifteen members of the police force. All in front of the headquarters of the French Football Federation. This is the sad conclusion of the last episode of a saga that the FFF has decided to bring to life with its silence in the face of the situation of former Reims striker Anatole Ngamukol, victim of moral harassment, while this same Fede is invited to express themselves on the subject by the Ministry of Sports. Incredible episode that always ends in the disturbing discretion of the Federation.
By Clément Barbier, at the headquarters of the FFF
The story goes back four years ago. Anatole Ngamukol, who returned to Stade de Reims – his training club – after two convincing seasons at Red Star, was put on the sidelines by the Champagne club the following summer. After the crowning of French Ligue 2 champions in 2018, the management invited their striker to look for a way out or resume training with the reserve, given his playing time which had crumbled during the previous season. But the Franco-Congolese refuses, convinced that he will have his chance in the first team during the season. Then comes August 31, the last day of the transfer window, and the date after which it is impossible to integrate a player with a professional contract into the “pro 2” group indefinitely, according to article 507 of the LFP Charter. . At the end of a standoff with the Stade de Reims, Anatole was laid off and then dismissed two months later, after remarks allegedly made by his older brother, Alain, in the office of Mathieu Lacour, the general manager of the club. Stade de Reims offers to conclude the relationship with an amicable agreement, President Caillot is even ready to pay Ngamukol until the end of the season. But the player declines and prefers to fall back on the field of justice, which his brother masters perfectly. Since then, the career of Anatole Ngamukol (34) has been on stand-by after a freelance at Paris 13 Atletico, and Mathieu Lacour has been convicted of moral harassment, having signed the letter summoning Ngamukol to join the pro group 2.
Genesis of a fight
At the end of March 2022, the UNFP sent a letter to the attention of Presidents Noël Le Graët (FFF) and Vincent Labrune (LFP), deploring through it that acts of moral harassment are never sanctioned, and that the authorities turn a blind eye to these situations, even though they are reactive when a projectile decides to end its course on a lawn. The union regrets, among other things, the lack of protection for players. The following month, the Minister of Sports Roxana Maracineanu wrote to Vincent Labrune, president of the Professional Football League, urging him to enlighten her on the steps taken by the LFP concerning the sidelining of professional players, and in this specific case, that of Anatole Ngamukol. Neither the LFP, and especially nor the FFF – which governs the decisions of LFP bodies on public service delegation – have deigned to follow up.
It is therefore this Tuesday that the entourage of Anatole Ngamukol, supported by the UNFP, decided to go and be heard of their own free will at the headquarters of the Fed. In detail, the cast is made up like this. On the one hand, the UNFP is represented via its vice-president David Terrier, its director of the legal department Stéphane Burchkalter, and its director of communications Stéphane Saint-Raymond. The Ngamukol clan is made up of Anatole, his big brother Alain, a former member of the Suge (general supervision of railway safety) and legal expert, and Sullivan Jous, an association activist and elected official in the town of Sevran. Anatole Ngamukol’s wife, pregnant and ready to join the team, is finally dissuaded. Finally, a colleague from Parisian complete the procession.
“The ministry tried to contact the FFF, which turned a deaf ear with a plea of inadmissibility. » Sullivan Arch
Sullivan Jous explains upstream the reason for this sit-in at the headquarters of the French Football Federation, with great clarity. “The FFF has an obligation, through the public service delegation it receives, to fight against any type of ostracization, harassment, discrimination and any obstacle to the law.tells the elected official of the opposition in Sevran. It must uphold the values of the Republic within the world of professional football. There is a decision of the Court of Appeal of Reims which recognizes the civil fault in a criminal jurisdiction of Mathieu Lacour for harassment. There is a decision of the industrial tribunal. Since December, it is the ministry which has asked the FFF to receive us, to hear us. We have the support of Mrs. Roxana Maracineanu, the former Minister of Sportsalso details Sullivan Jous. The current ministry, with the change of government, has reaffirmed its full support on the subject. He tried to contact the FFF, which turned a deaf ear, with ends of inadmissibility. This is why we came in delegation, with the UNFP, to obtain answers on the obligation incumbent on the FFF to have to fight against all types of discrimination and harassment. »
dialogue of the deaf
The watchword: make yourself heard. Appointment is given this Tuesday at 10 am, in front of the headquarters of the FFF, boulevard de Grenelle, in the 15e Parisian district. A quarter of an hour before, not a cat in front of the headquarters of the Federation, but two security guards, installed inside the building, one of whom was recruited especially for the sit-in, particularly monitor the place . David Terrier and Stéphane Burchkalter arrive shortly after 10 a.m. at the corner of the street, in front of the official FFF store. The Ngamukol clan follows. Sullivan and Alain waste no time and take care to adjust the camera to film the troop’s entry into the FFF building. The procession enters the enclosure around 10:30 a.m., Alain Ngamukol in the lead. This sets the scene for the security guard, who refuses to allow the group to go any further. Not to the taste of the delegation, necessarily. “What’s stopping us? We’ll go back and stay here. Everything will be alright. We will not make any degradation and we will not prevent anyone from working. Militant Sullivan. Alain insists and enters the hall, which has the gift of irritating the older of the two security guards – determined to leave the gang outside the building – and who goes there with a virulent “Dispose sir, please!” » when the brother of the victim insists and aims for the sofas, located five meters further, at the end of the hall. “You’re not going to stop me from sitting down, though.his rhetoric Alain Ngamukol. Don’t touch me, you’re wasting my time for nothing. Stop putting yourself in front of me, you are tiring me” he still groans, camera in hand.
Impassive, the hostesses, behind their counter, contact the police. A first team of five agents arrived without really rushing, open to discussion. Alain plays the mediator, once again drawing up the contours of the situation to the police officers, providing them with this famous letter signed by the hand of Roxana Maracineanu. Alain is confident, prevailing that it is impossible for a commissioner to assimilate to an offense the fact that people come to claim their rights. The brother of the ex-Rémois animates the debate almost alone with the police. More discreet and quieter, Anatole Ngamukol prefers to stay back, letting his brother advance his pawns on what looks like a giant chessboard.
The agents take the identities of each of the eight people present and withdraw from the building for a few seconds, before returning to the hall and inviting the troops to leave the building. Alain declines the invitation, having fun playing with the nuance between invitation and obligation. “I want to see how far they will go, to make history” announces the striker’s brother. “I want to see what the prosecutor has to tell me. For my part, I did what was necessary. I will fight for the values of the Republic and the future of our children. I prefer to have problems and know that I am in my right. insists Alain Ngamukol. Obviously, on the side of the Fed, no one agrees to go down, except the employees at the time of the lunch break, marked by incomprehension in the face of the situation. For its part, the troupe is amazed at the FFF’s contempt for Anatole Ngamukol and the scene that is brewing in the lobby of its headquarters. The representatives of the UNFP are stunned and repeat the term contempt over and over again. The security agents ensure for their part that the clan will not be received. Regardless, the team is determined to continue its sit-in.
Three police vans in front of the Fed headquarters
12:42 p.m. The delegation has been patient, objecting, discussing, debating for more than two hours. A woman, camera in hand, appears on the other side of the street, opposite the Fed headquarters. Lens pointed at the glass doors. Could it be another journalist present on the scene? Sullivan leaves to worry about the situation, and is informed that it is in fact police reinforcements, who have come to film the imminent evacuation of the hall by the forces of order. Alain then concocts a plan which would consist of thumbing his nose at the police. Bingo. 12:46 p.m., the group leaves the scene on its own, taking care to greet the first team of police officers, camped in the headquarters of the Fed. The camerawoman, however, takes care to keep the procession in the line of sight. Then disembark, three minutes later, three police vans and about fifteen agents decided to do battle, all for a group of eight people, including two journalists and three representatives of the UNFP. In the middle of the street, the latter raise the identities, which Sullivan had opposed, justifying that the group had left the building. The security forces finally quickly give permission to the delegation to circulate.
A few streets away, the gang, flabbergasted that the FFF had been able to call in the police, took their places in a Starbucks and debriefed the morning sit-in, where the terms ” shame ” , ” contempt ” and ” making fun of ” are on the agenda. But the fight has only just begun. “There are other actions that are being considered, with which the union agrees” concedes Sullivan Jous. The adventures of this beginning of the summer day will in any case be reported to the ministry, which wishes to keep informed of this file which seems set to last. Anatole, nibbling at his sandwich that he had prepared himself, reveals his hope: that his case will lead others to create a breach towards a world where silence would no longer be king in this kind of situation. “It’s an opening. I go to the front line. Players may need to mobilize or strike to get answers. he summarizes. It is 2 p.m., the sun is setting on the trying day of the Ngamukol clan. On the side of the FFF, we will deal with this file later. At least after the lunch break.
By Clément Barbier, at the headquarters of the FFF
All comments collected by CB // Photos: CB