Sports News

French Open still hoping for 5,000 spectators a day

PARIS (Reuters) - French Open tournament director Guy Forget is still waiting to know whether Roland Garros will be able to welcome 5,000 spectators a day despite new restrictions on gatherings in Paris amid the COVID-19 crisis.

Health minister Olivier Veran on Wednesday said that a maximum of 1,000 would be allowed at major sports events starting on Monday but for now Forget is sticking to his plans for the Sept. 27-Oct. 11 Grand Slam tournament.

“We followed the minister’s speech but we have not received any notification from the government or the prefect, we stick to 5,000 spectators (per day). We’re waiting to know more in the coming hours,” Forget told a news conference on Thursday.

“We are able to welcome 5,000 persons on an 8-acre surface (area), which is the equivalent of eight football fields.”

The number of spectators allowed at the French Open was cut from 11,500 to 5,000 last week as the daily number of coronavirus cases continued to rise.

Reporting by Julien Pretot, Editing by Ed Osmond