The discussion was to last about an hour and a half, like a football game. It eventually lasted for at least an hour. Tuesday, November 17, the President of the Republic, Emmanuel Macron, listened by videoconference to twenty sports representatives, in the presence of the Prime Minister, Jean Castex, and several members of the government.
Discussions first focused on the concerns of the amateur sector since the crisis due to Covid-19, then on those of professional athletes, and finally on those of the economic sector of sport. At the end of the meeting, several government announcements. The Head of State is now considering resuming the activity of amateur clubs from December, at least for minors.
He also promises to roll out Pass’Sports nationally, in order to allow the State to partially cover the cost of registering licenses. The gradual return of the public to the stadiums was also mentioned: not before January 2021, according to current projections.
“We needed to feel reassured and considered”, explains Nathalie Péchalat, president of the French Federation of Ice Sports, just like Bernard Laporte for that of rugby. “We see a little light at the end of the tunnel”, confirms Denis Masseglia, President of the French National Olympic and Sports Committee.
The latter, however, criticized the State, in an interview with World, to still not count sport “Among the priorities of the nation” despite the approach of the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris. In September, in its recovery plan of 100 billion euros, the government allocated 2 billion to culture, but only 120 million to sports over two years.
The sports movement had also very badly digested, from October, the closings of gymnasiums or swimming pools, while shopping centers escaped such measures.
The Elysee has made its new arbitrations. The 107 million euros for the fund to compensate for the loss of ticketing revenue from professional clubs, announced several weeks ago, have been confirmed. In addition, 105 million euros for social security contribution exemptions for the last quarter of 2020; 100 million euros for the national deployment of Pass’Sports, under discussion since the start of the September academic year; 20 million euros to compensate for the losses of licenses of the federations; as well as the renewal of the emergency fund of 15 million euros intended for smaller amateur clubs.
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