French stadiums may open to fans next month


The Ligue 1 season was abandoned in April, so many supporters will have to wait until the 2020-2021 campaign begins to see live football again.

But the end of France's health state of emergency from 11 July will see restrictions eased, with stadiums and horse-racing tracks to be reopened to the public, initially at a reduced capacity.

The news came in a statement from the government that specified: "As with performance halls, activities involving more than 1500 people must be declared, so that the necessary precautions can be guaranteed.

"The maximum capacity of 5000 people for major events, stadiums and performance halls is in principle in force until 1 September. A new review of the national epidemiological situation will be carried out in mid-July to decide whether a relaxation is possible for the second part of August."

The French Football Federation (FFF) is hoping the 5000 figure may be relaxed sooner than September, with reports this week saying the Coupe de France final, postponed from April, is pencilled in for 24 July.

Paris Saint-Germain is due to face Saint-Etienne at Stade de France, which can seat more than 80,000 spectators.

FFF president Noel Le Graet called the government ruling "an important step in the organisation of upcoming games".

"These new provisions allow us to envisage opening even more widely for spectators regarding the men's Coupe de France final at the end of July, the Coupe de la Ligue final, the semi-finals and final of the women's Coupe de France at the start of August, as well as the return of Ligue 1 and Ligue 2 at the end of August," he said.

"The FFF executive committee will meet on Monday June 22 to consider the new measures and the upcoming calendar."