In the face of the coronavirus pandemic, Nigeria international with French Ligue 1 side, Nantes FC, Moses Simon, speaks with Taiwo Alimi on how he and his colleagues are coping with the global lockdown.
With world football locked down due to the ravaging Coronavirus and many leagues forced into suspension across Europe, Asia, Australia and Africa, Nigeria international Moses Simon has been speaking on how he and his colleagues in Nantes have been coping with life sans football.
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French president Emmanuel Macron on March 16, 2020, officially announced full locked-down, declaring ‘we are at war with the Corona virus.’
The details of the lock-down outlined tight controls over residents’ civil liberties unprecedented in peacetime.
Residents will be required to download and fill a form online each time they venture outside or risk 38 Euros fine if they were caught outside without permission.
Not since World War 2 had France experienced such locked-down.
The French league…
On the last count, World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed 414179 corona virus cases with 18440 deaths globally.
Meanwhile, Simon, who is on season-long loan from Levante to Nantes, has spoken of how he has been coping amid the pandemic which has forced the French top-flight to a stop.
The Nigeria international said he misses football but happy to be with his young family.
Simon, who has been busy on the social media posting inspiring ‘stay home and be safe’ messages as a way to encourage his friends and family members to support the global lock-down, said family and the internet has become his companion since the shut-down.
“It’s not been easy worldwide. We cannot just go out or train outside. Europe is in a lock-down and it means there is no football for some time to come,” he explained.
“ I’ve spoken to some of my colleagues and it’s the same. We cannot even visit our friends. For us (footballers) I must say it’s not easy because we have to stay fit. It’s not easy to remain fit indoor and some of my colleagues have been finding it difficult. They are complaining of boredom.”
He is however, taking solace in being with his family-wife and baby daughter in this trying period: “This lock-down is an opportunity to be with my adorable wife and daughter. Since I moved to France, I don’t get to see them physically as often as I would have loved because they are in Belgium.
“I go home once every month, but the lock-down gave me the opportunity to move back to Belgium to be with them. We have been together and taking care of each other. It’s been an enjoyable moments.”
While still savouring the family time, Simon further wrote on his social account: “Thanks my queen for making home the happiest place to be. We love you and to all the strong mothers in the world” to mark last week’s Mother’s Day global celebration.”
Equally speaking about the allure of the home fronts away from Covid-19 catharsis, Simon’s teammate at Nantes midfielder Mehdi Abeid stated he misses football after Ligue 1 was suspended due to pandemic.
The Algeria international revealed he is using the opportunity to spend some time with his family but admitted it has been difficult for him without football.
“For everyone to have to stay at home without going out it is difficult, but necessary,” Abeid told France TV Sport.
“A footballer is often far from home and his family, at least now I see them every day, they have fun with me when I do my training sessions, and I play board games with them.
“We fear that it will be long but we will adapt, I miss football a lot already but life and health is much more important than everything.
“Many are in Europe and are in the same situation, so we are talking, it is perhaps more important than usual to stay in contact.
“We have a WhatsApp group with the medical staff [at Nantes] and must send data from our cardio watch every day, even during confinement we work hard to be ready when the league resumes.”
Nantes was 13th on the Ligue 1 table with 37 points from 28 games before the league was suspended.
Away from Corona virus, Simon said he has found home in Nantes since moving over on a season loan from Spain in August 2019. Since missing the 2018 World Cup thanks to injury, he has found his grooves back in France following the unimpressive time in Levante. He has played 31 times and scored nine goals in all tournaments with seven assists. He also recorded a hat-trick in the 8-0 win over Paris FC in October.
He said: “I’ve had God smiling on me since arriving last summer in France. I met great guys here and I chose FC Nantes because I think I have a lot to learn here because there is a very competent coach [Christian Gourcuff].
“My relationship with Kalifa Coulibaly is great, we met each other when we played at KAA Gent, it’s the first person I asked for information before signing, he told me good things and he did everything for me to sign here. I’m enjoying my stay here,” he added as he speaks more on stints with Levante, life in Belgium and his continued mission with the Super Eagles.
Source: The Nations