a breath of fresh air for professional sport

Stifled by the closed door imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, the world of professional sport can breathe. Emmanuel Macron detailed, Thursday, April 28, in the regional daily press, the schedule for deconfinement and the gradual lifting of health restrictions in France.

From May 19, sports establishments will once again be able to welcome the public, with a limit of 800 spectators for closed enclosures, 1,000 outdoors. Sports activities will once again be authorized in indoor and outdoor areas, according to appropriate protocols.

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Three weeks later, on June 9, the gauge will increase to 5,000 people, subject to the implementation of the health pass. Sports halls, shut down for six months, will also be able to reopen their doors. Finally, on June 30, most of the remaining restrictions will be lifted; only gauge limits adapted to local events and situations will be applied.

The schedule remains subject, said the Head of State, to the evolution of the health situation. In the departments where the incidence rate of Covid-19 would remain permanently above 400 cases per 100,000 inhabitants, these various stages could be delayed.

“Excellent news”

This deconfinement plan will not immediately change the economic situation of French professional clubs, whose championships (football, rugby, basketball, handball and volleyball) end at the end of May-beginning of June. What – except new postponements of matches – leaves little possibility of reopening the doors of the stadiums and rooms to the supporters.

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It nevertheless offers a breath of fresh air to bloodless clubs because of the camera and its corollary, the absence of ticketing revenue. “This is excellent news, it will make it possible to welcome again some of our partners and subscribers”, rejoices Alain Poncet, the president of the handball club of ChambĂ©ry (Savoie).

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The Minister for Sports, Roxana Maracineanu, announced on April 14 that the fund of 110 million euros granted, at the end of 2020, to professional clubs to compensate for ticketing losses would be extended to the first half of the year. It will be filled with an envelope “Of the same order of magnitude”, we advance in the entourage of the Minister Delegate.

Which gauge for Roland-Garros?

At the French Tennis Federation, the organizers of the Roland-Garros tournament (May 30 to June 13) are tearing their hair out. The Parisian Grand Slam, which at the beginning of April decided to move away by a week hoping to open up to the largest number of spectators, will only be able to accommodate 5,000 people from the quarter-finals.

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