Out of all the major European leagues only the French Ligue 1 was cancelled due to Coronavirus. The season had to end abruptly as it was agreed upon that it could not be completed in time. This said even though the Premier League, Bundesliga, La Liga and Serie A have found a way.
So it will be to everyone’s surprise to see that the French football federation in line with government plans have announced that fans will be allowed to watch the two French cup finals that will take place in July.
As it stands fans will be allowed to any sporting event in France from July 11th, the maximum will be 5,000.
The irony of course is how the league season was ended so quickly whilst other major leagues tried to work through the obstacles to get their seasons finished- and some fans in France may feel rightly annoyed by that given that the cup finals- the Coupe de France and the Coupe de la Ligue (which is the final one to take place) will not only be played but played with some fans.
The idea in France is to start small at 5,000 in stadiums that hold at least 50,000, so 10% capacity. If that goes well there will be another review in August. The new French Ligue 1 season is due to kick off on August 22nd, which would be at least four weeks before England, Spain, Italy and Germany who will have to postpone the new season as their seasons won’t end until late July.
With the Champions League due to take place in the month of August this could mean that PSG won’t play a game until September if they go far in the competition.
The FFF will be hoping to increase capacity by 10% each month, if that is a success then stadums could be full again in France by March 2021. Though many games only averaged between 60-70% full so everything could be back to normal in Ligue 1 much sooner.
The news is certainly a twist given France’s direct approach to the pandemic, but certain fans will be very happy by it- at least the ones that get to attend the cup finals.
In the Coupe de France final PSG will play Saint Etienne and in the Coupe de la Ligue final PSG will play Lyon. Both matches are scheduled to take place at the Stade de France in Paris which holds 80,000 fans, so 5,000 would still feel very empty.
Certainly if PSG were to win both games it would give the club a nice boost and another two trophies. The dates for the finals are still being arranged but look likely to take place sometime in July.
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