The end of 2021 looks like déjà vu for the sports world. Encounter with the omicron variant SARS-CoV-2, Prime Minister Jean Castex announced on Monday, Dec. 27, the return of sensors to places open to the public, including gyms and stadiums that are fueling the rise in Covid-19 infections, just five months after they were abandoned.
This measure, effective from Monday 3 January and for an initial period of three weeks, sets the number of people who can attend indoor events at 2,000 and 5,000 for outdoor events. Any consumption of drinks and other food will also be prohibited.
In addition, from January 15, if the relevant bill is passed by Parliament, spectators will have to provide proof that they are vaccinated in order to enter sports arenas. This also applies to the athletes themselves.
The camera operates in Germany and the Netherlands
“These are mandatory measures, but they were expected”– reacted Agence France-Presse following the press conference of the executive director, CEO of the National Basketball League. “We hope that the situation will improve and that these measures will only be in place for three weeks”Michel Mimran claimed.
The matches of the championships of France in rugby, volleyball and basketball have been postponed, preparations for the Euro in handball have been disrupted … For several days, the health situation has already shaken the sports calendar, and the environment feared a return behind closed doors.
This is especially true in Germany, where all sporting events will take place without spectators from December 28, as well as in Wales from this Sunday and in the Netherlands from mid-November.
Deep financial crisis
These new national restrictions are due to the fact that 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 detention in March 2020, professional sports were forced to come to a complete halt. When the championships resumed in September of that year, halls and stadiums were subject to size restrictions before closed sessions were introduced at the end of October.
This succession led to clubs’ accounts falling into the red, making it particularly hard to sell tickets for rugby or the indoor sports known as “du BHV” (basketball, handball, volleyball). They have found a small smile since May 2021 when the return of the public was allowed under very restrictive measures – 800 spectators indoors, 1000 outdoors. The situation has returned to normal since the summer of this year.
“Severe economic consequences”
“The decision to limit partial measurements taken (…) by the authorities is related to the health situation, and the goals and motives must obviously be respected. However, it will hit professional rugby clubs hard.National Rugby League CEO Emmanuel Echalieu said in a statement to AFP on Tuesday.
“Rugby is a celebratory sport, with more than 60% of its resources on average associated with the presence of the public and partners during matches. The economic model of professional rugby clubs is based on the reception of the public on match days.he continued.
“This new measure, combined with restrictions on the sale of drinks/food in stadiums, will have a severe economic impact. So new club support will be needed to make up for this. »Emmanuel Echaliet also emphasized.
State aid (solidarity funds, employer fee exemptions, part-time work, compensation fund for lost ticket revenue) has nevertheless allowed professional clubs to keep their heads above water in the absence of competition. deficiency coverage.
In view of the new measures announced on Monday, the government said compensation would be reintroduced.
The implementation of these health restrictions is happening just like many posters 16are The French Cup final is scheduled for Sunday, January 2. If the French Football Federation does not make a decision, it should take place under normal conditions. However, these new measures will affect matches between Paris Saint-Germain and Vannes on 3 January and Lens and Lille the following day.