'The only match now is against the virus'
While country after country adopts measures to counter COVID-19, PSG.fr decided to catch up with our fan clubs around the world to see how everyone is getting on: starting in Dakar with Abel, president of the Fan Club Senegal.
"Since the beginning of the health crisis and the appearance of the first positive cases of Coronavirus, the daily life of the Senegalese and the local Fan Club has inevitably been disrupted. Our last meeting was the return match against Dortmund," explains Abel. "It was already very complicated because the first positive cases of COVID-19 were detected at the same time here in Dakar. So we weren't sure it was going to happen, but in the end we were able to meet as we have often done since the Fan Club was created at the beginning of 2016."
Still far from imagining what would happen next, the members of the Fan Clubs were able to share a good time and savour the Parisians' qualification for the quarter-finals of the UEFA Champions League. "There was a lot of tension before the match because it was very important," said the Dakar native. "The pressure was indescribable. So, in the end, the feeling was extraordinary. We really experienced something very strong at the final whistle. I invite you to go see the videos!"
"It was a final moment of sharing before the first steps were taken by the government to stop the pandemic. Since the first positive case in Dakar at the beginning of March, the curve is upwards and the number of cases is increasing," Abel explains. "The first steps were taken, including the closure of schools. Despite this, the virus has continued to spread. A state of emergency was declared and a curfew was introduced."
"Obviously, we're missing the matches today," he continued. "There's a real love between the club and us. A weekend without a match, then two, then three... it's hard to cope with! That obviously has an impact on us." It's obviously a difficult time for the Parisian fans, but it's a moment that goes beyond football. "We're looking forward to it returning, but today the priority is elsewhere," says Abel. "The only match now is the one against the virus. We have to stick together and hope to see the situation get back to normal so that we can enjoy the matches again."
All the more so as the many other Paris Saint-Germain fans in Senegal have big ambitions this season. "With the spirit, solidarity and commitment shown against Borussia, we can do something in the Champions League this season. We must therefore pray that the virus disappears, and that the competition resumes to go and win the trophy!" concluded Abel.