Les bouches grandes ouvertes se mêlent aux airs interloqués, aux visages impassibles, aux mains brandies pour se protéger, aux autres festives. Deux vies viennent de changer mais le public n’y voit qu’un événement. Amusant pour certains, choquant pour d’autres. Juste un événement.

Eric Cantona vient de frapper Matthew Simmons d’un (admirable) coup de pied. Le Français sera suspendu neuf mois, Simmons verra sa vie s’effondrer. Le 25 janvier 1995 est une date dans l’Histoire de la relation entre les joueurs et les supporters mais au moment où Cantona s’élève, appuie son pied gauche sur le panneau publicitaire puis envoie valdinguer Simmons, il s’est simplement passé quelque chose propice à une manifestation émotionnelle, la raison première d’une venue au stade.

Pour beaucoup, le football rend con, le football abrutit, encore plus quand on est sur place, parce qu’on insulte l’arbitre, les joueurs adverses, les supporters adverses, les poteaux adverses. On insulte tout ce qui contrarie nos envies, celles de notre équipe. On est plus facilement grossier, on parle fort, on enlace des potes, parfois des gens qu’on ne connaît pas. Le football ne rend pas con, il libère. Le football désinhibe et les actes qui en découlent ne sont pas forcément les plus vertueux. Le football dans un stade, quand il est bon, est une sacrée drogue. Dans un article intitulé Happy Together, Supriya Nair racontait comment un dépressif avait survécu grâce à ses venues au stade, comment le football l’avait extrait de son état. Comment dans un stade, il n’y avait que le football. Ni lui ni ses pensées sombres. Uniquement les vingt-deux types qui se disputaient le cuir. « Je n’existe plus; il n’y a que le football. C’est le meilleur temps libre, un temps hors de moi ». Est-on toujours nous-même dans un stade ?

Le football facilite l’expression des sentiments les moins emphatiques, parce qu’il vous plonge pendant 90 minutes dans un univers qui n’a qu’un but : le plaisir à travers la tension, les potentiels évènements, et si possible, le succès de votre équipe. Et ce 25 janvier 1995, Matthew Simmons, alors supporter de Crystal Palace, éprouvait une profonde haine pour Cantona comme il le dit à So Foot : « tous ceux qui ne supportaient pas Manchester le détestaient ». Simmons a donc insulté sa mère, faisant sa part du boulot. Et Canto a réagi au quart de tour : tout comme les supporters, les joueurs sont desinhibés par le football. Les pétages de plomb sont nombreux (Zidane aurait-il donné un coup de tête s’il avait reçu une insulte dans la rue ? Pepe est-il un boucher au quotidien ?). À ce sujet, il est indispensable de voir cette émission où Olivier Pourriol même philosophie et football.

Comment réagir quand on voit un homme qui se prend un high-kick d’un autre ? La réponse, ardue en théorie, fut multiple ce jour de janvier 1995. Il y a cette jeune femme au premier rang qui semble se protéger. Il y a cet homme à sa droite qui reste stoïque, et ce quinquagénaire veste-cravate dont la moustache mime l’incompréhension, et cet autre veste-cravate en transe derrière ses lunettes comme le montre son sourire béat. Et il y a ce vieil homme, vêtu d’un béret, au visage indéchiffrable mais parlant : il s’est passé quelque chose. Comme le dit si bien John King (auteur du culte Football Factory) encore dans So Foot : « un stade, c’est des émotions ». Quelle que soit leur nature.

SUR LE MÊME THÈME

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