Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain fanzones vetoed by Paris Mayor's office in light of COVID-19 concerns

French police arrested 36 people including three minors after clashes, notably on the Champs-Elysees, following Paris Saint-Germain's semi-final victory on Tuesday.

Agence France-Presse August 20, 2020 17:48:04 IST
Champions League: Paris Saint-Germain fanzones vetoed by Paris Mayor's office in light of COVID-19 concerns

There will be no fanzones in the French capital for this weekend's Champions League final that pitches Paris Saint-Germain against Bayern Munich, French police told AFP on Thursday.

The mayor's office also opposed fanzone plans that had been pitched by Sports Minister Roxana Maracineanu on Wednesday.

That idea was "a bad suggestion", Paris health official Anne Souyris told AFP.

"It's not thought out and it doesn't make any sense from a health point of view," said Souyris.

PSG take on Bayern in Lisbon on Sunday, but their progress has coincided with several departments in the Ile-de-France region around Paris passing the "alert threshold" of 50 new daily coronavirus cases per 100,000 inhabitants.

"All I see is a massive cluster," Souyris said of a potential fanzone, recommending gatherings in small groups of 10 or less in cafes where social distancing is possible.

French police arrested 36 people including three minors after clashes, notably on the Champs-Elysees, following PSG's semi-final victory on Tuesday.

Police were deployed in big numbers both on the Champs-Elysees, the iconic Parisian avenue that connects the Arc de Triomphe with the Place de la Concorde, and around PSG's home ground of the Parc des Princes in the west of the city.

Thousands of PSG fans, often very young and for the most part not wearing masks in line with coronavirus health and safety protocols, paraded down the Champs-Elysees in cars, and on mopeds and scooters, in a cacophony of horn-blowing and chanting.

For the final, PSG have organised a live transmission of the game for the reglemented number of 5,000 spectators at the Parc des Princes.

"If we do that at the stadium, we risk having groupings we won't be able to manage," warned Souyris.

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