Here against Léo Dubois during the derby to go in November, Denis Bouanga is one of the eight players currently affected by the Covid-19.



  • Currently 16th in Ligue 1, ASSE is approaching the derby in "extreme" conditions, due to the


     currently affecting the Saint-Etienne club.

  • As the regulations only allow the postponement of a Ligue 1 match from 11 positive cases of Covid-19, the Greens had to play last Sunday in Strasbourg (1-0) despite ten players affected, as well as four injured and a staff fully positive for coronavirus.

  • Claude Puel took stock of this “ubiquitous” situation on Tuesday, five days before a derby which should be maintained, despite the demand on the Stéphanois side.

"A daily headache", "a completely crazy, extraordinary situation".

From his home, where he remains confined "without significant symptoms", Claude Puel repeated these terms on Tuesday during more than an hour of videoconference with the press.

Still deprived of training all week, he should be back on Sunday, the day of the derby against the neighbor Lyon (at 9 p.m. in the Chaudron).

Because despite the


 having affected them before their match in Strasbourg (1-0) last Sunday, the Greens (16th in L1) are preparing this summit well under "extreme" conditions.

💻 Claude #Puel: "It's an ubiquitous situation but we must not endure it. We denounce the facts, period. Whatever team is aligned, we will be present during the #Derby and we will provide the right answers on the field with the desire to take up the challenge that is imposed on us. "

- AS Saint-Étienne (@ASSEofficiel) January 19, 2021

Already deprived of four injured elements (including Yvan Neyou, who could make his comeback against OL, and Wahbi Khazri), they indeed had to do without ten other players in Alsace affected by Covid-19, just like eight staff members.

But in the regulation concerning Ligue 1, it takes at least 11 positive players (like Lorient currently) to postpone a meeting.

“We were forced to play at all costs with 14 fewer players in the workforce, as well as the entire staff, regrets Claude Puel.

It's not about football anymore.


"We are asked to put a veil on the dangerousness of the situation"

In his cold anger, the former Lyon coach went with a tackle against the management of RC Strasbourg: “We even received a call on Sunday from a leader in Strasbourg to urge us to be careful and to respect the rules.

He wanted to tell us that he would be vigilant if we tried to skew the regulations ”.

The manager of ASSE therefore has little illusions about the prospect of postponing the derby, especially as four of the ten players affected will not be "considered positive" on Sunday.

These, whose identity has not been disclosed by the club, have resumed individualized training, and they could therefore make their return, even if they are "operational on a regulatory level but not sporting".

Yes, we are asking for the postponement but there is a rule that must apply and we will have to play, otherwise we will lose matches on the green carpet.

It is an adaptation at all times.

We are not going to wish for other cases to have our matches suspended… ”

Claude Puel concluded this hot topic by delivering a salvo against the maintenance “at all costs” of this Ligue 1: “Is it viable?

Do we keep closing our eyes?

In my opinion, there is no more prevention and the health aspect is not considered at all.

It is not for me to make decisions but to show the grotesque and the ugly of this situation.

We are constantly asked to adapt and to put a veil on the dangerousness of the situation we are living through this virus and its spread.

There is no fairness, we take risks with our health.



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