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French stadia to re-open to fans

Stadia will re-open to fans in France in July as the country continues to lift coronavirus restrictions.

The French government has announced that all sports stadia, including racecourses, will be reopened to the paying public from July 11, with a limit of 5,000 people in the initial stages.

The news came as part of a raft of announcements surrounding the easing of lockdown restrictions, following a session of the Defence and National Security Council (CSDN).

It means football’s French Cup and League Cup finals could be played in front of supporters after both were postponed to a date yet to be decided because of the pandemic.

The Ligue 1 and 2 seasons were cancelled in April. The French government said:

A further review of the national epidemiological situation will be carried out in mid-July to decide whether a loosening is possible for the second half of August.

In April, Prime Minister Edouard Philippe put a blanket ban on all sport until September but collective sports can now resume from Monday.

The Prix Jean Prat on July 12 will be the first major French race to take place in front of any sort of crowd since the sport was halted back in March

Barring a second wave of the virus leading to a reversal in government policy, the centenary Qatar Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe will be staged in front of a paying public at Longchamp on October 4.

Image: Stade de France