President Emmanuel Macron announced the establishment of a curfew from October 17 in Ile-de-France and in the following metropolises: Grenoble, Lille, Lyon, Aix, Marseille, Montpellier, Saint-Etienne and Toulouse. This means that, unless there is an exemption, traffic on public roads will be prohibited between 9 p.m. and 6 a.m. What are the consequences for sporting events and for the practice of sport in these areas?
• Behind closed doors for certain league or Cup matches
Ligue 1 must resume its rights this weekend after the international break. The Olympique de Marseille match at home on Saturday against Bordeaux and Lille at home against Lens on Sunday are scheduled at 9 p.m. These matches will have to be played behind closed doors. “The competitions must be played without an audience if they take place after 9 p.m.” the ministry said. Since mid-September, the stadiums located in the “heightened alert zone” could only accommodate 1,000 people in a match. All professional sports are concerned.
Professional athletes have also been “defined as a priority public for professional activity” specified the Ministry of Sports. This could have an impact on the training and the entire working environment of high-level athletes, the ministry having indicated that the “terms” would be “refined” in the next few days.
• Bercy night sessions will have to be adapted
Among the major sporting events planned in France in the coming weeks, there is the Masters 1000 de Bercy, scheduled from October 31 to November 7. The tournament traditionally schedules night sessions, with two matches scheduled from 7 p.m. “The matches scheduled in the evening cannot be played with the public. But nothing prevents the Tennis Federation from advancing the program”, we told the Ministry of Sports.
• Assistance provided for professional clubs affected by the curfew
In fact, some professional clubs, whose economy depends in part on ticket revenues, will be affected by the curfew. Especially since the matches scheduled for 9 p.m. are generally those that attract the most people. The Ministry of Sports told France tv sport “currently working on an additional aid device” in relation to this curfew. He should be ready “very soon”.
• No exemption for amateur / recreational sport
Closed rooms (weight training, gym) will have to remain so, while lessons or sports sessions practiced in the open air will have to adapt to the curfew. “No exemption is provided for the amateur world” specified the Ministry of Sports. Asked about the possible negative effects of this curfew on clubs and sports associations already seriously affected by the health crisis, the ministry recalled “all the devices already in place for these structures” and a “substantial aid fund”. President Emmanuel Macron also specified in his televised speech this Wednesday that the partial unemployment scheme also concerned sports players.