Plans to partially fill the grounds at Roland Garros this autumn with up to 20,000 fans per day could be running into trouble thanks to rowdy supporters of French football.
L’Equipe reported that government ministers may have to prepare a crackdown plan on large gatherings after a lack of COVID-19 social distancing at a weekend football match between PSG and Beveren.
Reports indicate that Parisian PSG ultras ignored national mask and distance requirements while in the terraces – as a result, officials could now be considering more rather than less future restrictions.
Any such ruling could put plans to stage the rescheduled French Open from September 27 in front of 50 per cent capacity crowds into serious danger.
Sport Minister Roxana Maracineanu would be the one to make the possible call to shut down stadium crowds “If the measures intended to fight against the spread of the virus are not respected.”
The ministry warned: “Respecting distances and health protocols is an absolute necessity for the health of supporters and of all French people.
“Decisions behind closed doors could be taken – in accordance with applicable law – if the (social distancing) measures intended to combat the spread of the virus are not respected during the next matches.”.
Open officials have stressed for months that final authority to allow limited fans to attend the clay-court Grand Slam rests with the national government.
Paris long ago announced that national crowd size at events is subject to review at any time.