EX-ARSENAL and Chelsea striker Nicolas Anelka has quit as sporting director of French fourth-tier club Hyeres after three months – because coronavirus has held up their ambitious project.
The former Manchester City and PSG star, 42, claims France’s “severe restrictions” mean his “expertise is of no use” as amateur football is in limbo.
One-time Liverpool loanee and former Man City frontman Nicolas Anelka has quit French amateur side Hyeres after arriving in February[/caption]
Nicolas Anelka played for and against Chelsea and Arsenal amid six spells in the Premier League, before retiring as a player in 2015[/caption]
Businessman Mourad Boudjellal appointed Anelka on February 3, a day after taking over Hyeres following failed buyout bids for Ligue 1 giants Marseille and fourth-level Sporting Club Toulon.
But football chiefs halted Championnat National 2 – France’s fourth tier – on April 23 amid a new Covid-19 wave.
And Anelka told footmercato.net: “I came to this project thinking that the virus was conquered and that amateur football was going to resume.
“After three months at the club the observation is obvious. The sports project is no longer the same!
“Amateur football is at a standstill and the restrictions are even more severe.”
The 69-cap former France ace, whose many clubs as a player included Real Madrid, Bolton and West Brom, believes Hyeres’ plans will suffer due to “financial difficulties” caused by the lockdown and not playing.
He added: “I do not see any short and medium-term projection on amateur football.
“My experience and expertise are of no use at the moment. I therefore prefer to devote my time to my other activities.
FREE BETS: GET OVER £2,000 IN SIGN UP OFFERS HERE
Most read in Football
FOOTBALL NEWS LIVE
Chelsea join £85m Sancho race, Ronaldo wants Sporting Lisbon homecoming
MAN UTD P-P LIVERPOOL
Clubs await rearranged fixture date after protests at Old Trafford
ARSENAL NEWS LIVE
Ek meets Supporters Trust, Kroenke 'put Gunners up for sale for £1.7bn'
BOBBY ON THE BEAT
Man 'repeatedly punched by cops' at Man Utd demo 'left with broken jaw'
THEN IN ROME
Mourinho named Roma boss on 3-year deal starting next season after Spurs axe
When will Man Utd vs Liverpool be played? What we know about postponed game
Read our Football live blog for the very latest news from around the grounds
“I thank the president for giving me this opportunity.
“I discovered a club, this magnificent region and its friendly inhabitants.
“I wish good luck to this project and to all. Saddened to leave the Var club, Nicolas Anelka keeps only good memories.”