Paulo Fonseca on Ukraine: “I cannot forget those people who continue to suffer. I wish to dedicate this victory to them.”

In search of European football, Lille picked up crucial points after their 2-1 victory over Brest. After nearly picking up 3 points in Paris last week Les Dogues regrouped and emerged victorious thanks to an Alexsandro’s game-winning goal. Head coach Paulo Fonseca shared his thoughts on the match, stating, “It was very, very important to win today, but it was very, very difficult. We took a goal from a corner and then we had difficulties because Brest defended a lot, very low. But we deserved to win.”

The match may have ended with a win, but it was far from smooth sailing. While the Portuguese coach has been vocal in expressing his admiration for the refereeing standards in Ligue 1 he did hold back on his dismay over there handling of the match. He elaborated on the source of his frustration which led to his sending off, stating, “The quality of referees in France is very, very good. But I don’t know how many minutes we played today. We saw, during the World Cup, that we could give 8, 10 minutes of additional time, or even more. People buy tickets to see the show. What we saw tonight does not promote Ligue 1.”

Many coaches in leagues around the world have spoken about the disconnect between what is called on the field versus what VAR sees and the situation it is deployed in. Fonseca explained,“I can understand that the referee cannot see it. But why does the VAR not see it? It’s hard to accept. The public sees it, people on TV see it, but the VAR doesn’t see it. I had a discussion with the Brest coach, but I did not speak with the referee and I do not understand that only one side was sanctioned. We were both nervous, that’s normal.”

The former Shakhtar coach has begun to make a noticeable mark on LOSC. However, he has not forgotten the Ukrainian club and the situation the country is in. He dedicated the victory to them starting, “I would like to say something, to conclude. A year ago, I was training in Ukraine (Shakhtar), when the war started. I cannot forget those people who continue to suffer and I wish to dedicate this victory to them.”

GFFN | Tony DesRois

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