The end of 2021 looks like deja vu for the sports world. Facing Omicron variant SARS-CoV-2, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Monday (December 27th) that displays have been returned to public places, including gyms and stadiums, five months after they were abandoned, fueling the rise in Covid-19 contamination.
Effective Monday, January 3, and for an initial period of three weeks, the measure sets the number of people who can attend an indoor event at 2,000 and in the case of outdoor enclosures 5,000. Consumption of any beverages and other foods will also be prohibited.
In addition, if the law to this effect is passed by the Parliament from January 15, spectators will have to prove they have been vaccinated to enter the sports arenas. This will also apply to the athletes themselves.
Camera in force in Germany and the Netherlands
“These are binding measures, but it was expected”The general director of the National Basketball League reacted to Agence France-Presse after the manager’s press conference. “We hope that the situation will improve and that these measures will only be valid for three weeks”argued Michel Mimran.
The matches of the French rugby, volleyball and basketball championships were postponed, the preparations for Euro handball were disrupted… For several days, the health condition had shaken the sports calendar and the environment was afraid of a comeback behind closed doors.
This is especially true in Germany, where from 28 December all sporting events will be held without spectators, as well as in Wales since this Sunday and the Netherlands since mid-November.
A deep financial crisis
These new national restrictions come as basketball, handball, volleyball, rugby and football clubs have not yet fully recovered financially from the deep crisis caused by previous waves of Covid-19.
During the first incarceration in March 2020, the professional sport had to be stopped altogether. When the championships resumed in September of the same year, indica restrictions were introduced in halls and stadiums before closed session was implemented at the end of October.
This sequence put clubs’ accounts in the red, with tickets especially heavy for the indoor sports known as rugby or “du BHV” (basketball, handball, volleyball). From May 2021, when the public was allowed to return, they found a small smile, respecting very restrictive measures – 800 spectators for indoor enclosures, 1,000 spectators outdoors. The situation had returned to normal since this summer.
“Heavy economic repercussions”
“The decision by the authorities to limit partial measurements (…) is linked to health status and must be clearly adhered to objectives and motivations. It will hit professional rugby clubs hard, though.On Tuesday, National Rugby League general manager Emmanuel Eschalier responded in a statement sent to AFP.
“Rugby is a festive sport whose resources, on average, more than 60% depend on the presence of the public and partners during matches. The economic model of professional rugby clubs is based on welcoming the public on match days.he continued.
This new measure will have heavy economic repercussions, along with the restrictions on beverage/food sales in stadiums. New support for clubs will therefore be required to compensate for this. »He also underlined Emmanuel Eschalier.
State aid (solidarity funds, exemptions from employer wages, short-time work, compensation fund for loss of ticketing income) allowed professional clubs to keep their heads above water in the absence of competition. makes up for the shortcomings.
In light of the new measures announced Monday, the government said the compensation would be reinstated.
The enforcement of these health restrictions comes as much as the posters of the 16th century.has The French Football Cup finals will be held on Sunday, January 2nd. Unless the French Football Association decides, these must be done under normal circumstances. However, the matches between Paris-Saint-Germain and Vannes on January 3 and the next day between RC Lens and Lille will be affected by these new measures.